CARBONEAR, NL — Students from Carbonear Collegiate welcomed a slew of guests to take part in the school's annual Remembrance Day ceremony.
Held Thursday in the gymnasium, the event took time to honour lives lost in combat and promote a peaceful future. School principal Rodney Hodder latched onto both those points in his address to those who attended Thursday's ceremony.
"During this week of remembrance, we should reflect on the people who gave their lives for us and for our prosperity," he said. "It was given willingly and without hesitation, and we owe them to ensure that we remember the supreme cost they paid. We honour the past when we take steps to ensure that the price they paid will not be repeated again. Being respectful of different viewpoints, not making assumptions … taking time to learn about others and their situations, instead of judging them based on stereotypes and biased opinions."
Thursday's guest speaker was Peter Noel, a long-time member of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 in Carbonear. He has several family members who have served in the military, including his father Roy, a member of the 166th Newfoundland Field Artillery Regiment during the Second World War. Peter performed two original songs inspired by the sacrifices veterans made.
"We hear a little bit about PTSD these days and I'm not sure my father had PTSD," he said. "But he was definitely affected by the war. In those days, severe cases used to be called shell-shocked. But it was always with him."
Roy's wartime experience wasn't something he discussed much in his lifetime, though Peter added his father did open up about it following a visit to Italy in 1982 that included places where he was stationed.
Roy Noel was involved early on with the local Legion in Carbonear, and Peter said its goal was to ensure there was always another generation who knew about what his father and others did.
"They wanted to make sure there was a generation left to remember what they did, and that's why we're here today, and that's why there'll be people gathered everywhere across this country and in fact throughout the world on Saturday to remember at our war memorials."