When Mr. Mitchell asked his Grade 2/3 class if they had any questions for the war veterans, a thicket of small hands waved in the air.
“Where did you get all your medals?” “When you were in the battlefield would there be a lot of wreckage and debris?” “Did you save any people at war?” “What was the food like?”
On Tuesday, Webster’s Corners elementary hosted a special Veterans’ Tea event to honour a group of local heroes who served their country.
“The students were so excited when the veterans arrived,” said Webster’s Corners principal Ramin Mehrassa.
Inside the school library, the veterans were served tea, coffee and homemade goodies before being treated to musical performances, poetry, thank-you notes and artwork from each class in the school. After every presentation, the students lined up to shake the hands with the veterans.
“I think it’s probably the most memorable Remembrance Day ceremony I’ve been to in Canada,” said veteran John Vanderlest about the school event.
During the Q&A with students, Bill Mitchell, a 96-year-old veteran from Maple Ridge, shared some of his memories of being overseas during the Second World War.
When asked if he was ever scared during war, veteran Dave Lambert told the students: “Some of the time, yes. If a solider said he wasn’t scared, he was telling fibbers.”
Webster’s Corners teachers agreed that the experience of having veterans visit the school and speak with students helped bring history to life.
One teacher remarked, “It allows us to understand and learn about something in real life, rather than just reading about it in a book. To see the veterans in their uniforms in real life, to hear about their experiences, it was an honour.”