It’s about 12:00noon as I write this. This morning I asked all of our students from Year 1-10 to meet in the Undercover Area for a brief Remembrance Day commemoration and a minutes’ silence.
I wasn’t too sure if the Pre-Primary students would be able to sustain the silence, but Mrs Sawyer bravely brought them.
Classes from Pre-Primary to Year 4 sat directly in front of the carpeted steps where I stood. The older students stood in a circle around them, with all of our staff.
I spoke to them briefly and outlined these ideas:
- ANZAC Day is our day of national commemoration.
- Remembrance Day is for every nation that was involved in World War 1.
- Our population was 5 000 000 at the time and 60 000 soldiers lost their lives (38 000 in World War 2 and 2 000 in other wars). 100 000 Australians have lost their lives in war.
- Every family at the time was affected. Every small town in Australia has a memorial to that terrible war, with names of lives lost. Some families sent more than one son or daughter, some lost more than one. They were buried where they died and were never seen by their families again. Many returned traumatised and were never the same.
- Today is a day to remember and honour their sacrifice and loss.
- Our hope is that every nation remembers and honours these sacrifices. It is important to be aware of the terrible cost of war, in the hope that in remembrance and honour, the desire to fight and make war does not become the experience of your generation.
- We need to be people of peace, to understand other nations and cultures and build peace amongst ourselves and across nations. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. We should be called peacemakers.
I told them that God had a plan for us where there was “no more war, no more tears, no more sorrow.”
We had one minute’s silence, where they closed their eyes and bowed their heads and remembered the great sacrifices that have been made, cherished the opportunities that we enjoy, and committed themselves to be people of peace.
During the minute’s silence, not a sound was made… at all... by anyone. It was perfect peace.
I was so proud of their respectfulness and consideration. It was simply amazing. At the end I prayed for them, for those that had lost loved ones, for our nation and for their generation.
Then Year 9 students’ Matthew R-W and Tenique F, in cadet uniform, performed the ceremony of the raising of the flag from half mast with great precision and dignity.
Remembrance Day at MCC was a precious and powerful moment together.