On Friday, November 10, it was my last Remembrance Day Ceremony at Richmond Secondary.
In my previous years, I didn’t really ponder the meaning behind the ceremony and the day itself. The reason was that I couldn’t connect and comprehend the data and facts in the social studies textbook to the pictures, songs, and poems presented in the ceremony. To me, they are just a pile of information that I did not have time to absorb and really “sense” the message behind.
This year, being my last year at Richmond Secondary is different. In English class, we have read the novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” before Remembrance Day. The main protagonist in the book, Paul Baumer, is a young 19-year-old German soldier who has been sent to the Western Front. I can relate a lot to Paul, who is sensitive and vigorous. Throughout the story, Paul has transformed into a tough soldier who no longer has a dream for the future. When the pictures and names of young recruits from Richmond High are being presented in the ceremony, I suddenly see it, all of it. Those young soldiers once had such dreams just like Paul’s, but they were shattered because of war. They went through traumatic events that no one can imagine. When I hum the melody of Amazing Grace along the names pops up one by one, I realize that they were just like us, like Paul. We all have a dream or a great vision for the future, but they went for something greater. They had sacrificed.
I left the ceremony this time with a different thought from the previous years, “what do I have to offer to the society?”
With this thought in mind, I guess this year’s Remembrance Day would be the one I would always remember.