On Friday morning, I jumped out of my dad’s car and walked into the school. Everyone was nicely dressed, in either black or white. So was I, for I was a member of the choir in the Remembrance Day Ceremony. The day before the ceremony, we stood for more than two hours, rehearsing the whole concept.
From 8:30 until the last minute before the ceremony started, one song stuck in my head and repeated over and over—O’ Canada. Every Thursday after school, we had vocal jazz class, learning and practicing songs, so we could sing without music scores when the actual event came. Eventually, I got pretty familiar with all the songs. However, without any practice at all, we were to sing O’ Canada in the ceremony. I had literally heard it two times, at the previous Remembrance Day ceremonies! I had to memorize it quickly. “Our home and native land……” I sang quietly to myself.
It made no difference if I was to sing O’ Canada or March of the Volunteers (Chinese National Anthem) because WWI and WWII happened in both Canada and China, and many other countries around the world, too. No matter where the war took place, it brought death and destruction to innocent people and their homelands. In socials 11, Ms. Turner told us how documentaries of world wars covered up most Chinese contributions in the war since China was run by communism. I was shocked and offended that the world chose not to see how Chinese sacrificed in the wars because of ideologies. I grew up learning about Chinese citizens and soldiers being slaughtered during Nanjing Holocaust, starving to death because the enemy took away all the food, and millions of heroic stories of people bravely fighting back. Of course, in a communist society, many ugly facts are covered up by the government so that it can embrace its power and take total control, but it does not hide the fact that China, as a nation, fought for peace as hard as every other country did.
One of the reasons I joined vocal jazz this year was because I did not appreciate others texting, playing games, or joking around during the ceremony. I’d rather not see those disrespectful behaviours. When I was on the gym floor singing, it felt like this whole event was taken a lot more seriously.
The ceremony was over in the blink of an eye. This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony was surely memorable to me.