Solemn Ceremony Creates Community, Hope

On Wednesday, November 11th, the Waterloo Collegiate community gathered in the school’s auditorium to mark the passing of Remembrance Day.

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The ceremony, held annually, ran twice to accommodate the growing number of staff, students and community members looking to attend. In the allotted time, all of the ceremonial practices expected at such an event, including the presentation of the flag, Rouse, Reveille and a minute of silence, were observed.

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The itinerary also paid tribute to the date through a series of spoken word, dramatic, musical and dance performances, each delivered by WCI students and related community-members. In deviation from previous years, the performances made special recognition of those families currently affected by the growing refugee crises. The testimonies of these individuals were aimed at creating first-hand awareness for the lasting effects of war, in addition to an on-going promotion of community-building and understanding.

Former economics teacher and philosopher, John Shaw, continued with past WCI traditions and concluded the ceremony with a few closing remarks. This year, the solemn occasion broke the one hour mark and ran without incident.

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FJORD spoke with Shaw following the ceremony to discuss his history with the event. Shaw commented, “I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, really.” He went on to describe his philosophy for encouraging youth to act, saying, “I have always felt that we should leave things better than [we] found [them].” Each remembrance day, advocating for a path to peace is his means of contributing in a small way to that goal.

Though Shaw did express his support of tradition, citing the necessity for one to “not let go of everything,” he is also of the belief that evolution “is a healthy thing.” As WCI looks to continue this particular tradition going forward, Shaw hopes to remind the community that Remembrance Day is not only a time for solemn reminders, but one to inspire hope for the future.