CARBONEAR, NL — Grade seven and eight students at Carbonear Academy are doing what they can to give back to the families of fallen soldiers.
Earlier in 2017, Water Street was decorated with memorial banners, bearing the names and photos of soldiers from Carbonear who gave their lives for Canada’s freedom. However, students at Carbonear Academy worried that soldiers whose families no longer lived in the area would be left out.
Toward the end of the Remembrance Day ceremony, held at the school on Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, students presented Comrade Leslie Forward of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 in Carbonear with $469 that they had raised in order to pay for two banners to be erected on the street, in memory of anyone who had served in the past whose family have since moved on, or were otherwise unable to have a banner of their own.
When erected, the banner will feature the soldier’s name, where and where they served, accompanied by words explaining that the banner was donated by grade seven and eight students at Carbonear Academy.
The money raised by the students came as a result of a bake sale, which Carbonear Academy teacher Jane Green called a major success, with hundreds of baked goods sold over the course of a two-day long sale. By selling their cookies and cupcakes, the students in turn saw major success with their project.
Students involved in the project spoke with The Compass after Wednesday morning’s ceremony, explaining how it made them feel to give back to veterans however they could, and how the project opened their eyes to the sacrifices made for their country.
“It makes us feel good, and really gives us a sense of pride,” said Rebecca Sellars, who also performed “Pittance of Time” alongside fellow student Chelsea Hyde during the ceremony. “It’s good to know that a banner that we fundraised for is going to be put up, alongside all the other banners, in a soldier’s name who doesn’t have family here anymore to represent them.”
Another student, Caroline Clarke, explained that the project helped her and her classmates develop a better connection and understanding with the topic of war and remembrance.
“We hear about soldiers, and hear stories, and this felt like a way for us to give back to them in our own way,” she said.
Green noted the project correlates with the grade seven students’ Social Studies curriculum, though the banner project itself was a completely separate idea that the students came up with on their own.
“The curriculum centres around empowerment – disempowerment, social empowerment, political empowerment, which are pretty big topics for grade sevens, but this kind of linked up with that, even though it wasn’t actually a part of the course,” Green explained.
Several students also spoke of their own families, which include, both past and present, men and women who served in the military. Some students even proudly wore parts of family members’ service outfits during performances Wednesday morning.
“It just felt really great to be a part of a group of grade seven and eight students that could get together to raise $469, and put up two banners. It’s a good feeling to be able to give back to people who gave so much for our country,” said student Abigail Lee.
“You have to honour our soldiers, and I think that’s what we did with this,” added Sellars.
Though as of Wednesday afternoon no specific identity has been assigned to the banners, the students hold great pride in their accomplishment, and look forward to seeing their efforts put to good use.