Lest We Forget 2010 – Part V
It is Remembrance day here in Canada. If you haven’t noticed I have been posting this series at 11:00 am each day (Part I being the only exception). On November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am the first world war came to an end. That is the reason for the timing of my posts. I hope everyone is reading here after remembering all who sacrificed. I know that there will be some remembrance Day discussions at my house today and I am sure we will all see something on the history channel. As for me I have some few thoughts to share. The first is a look back at last year. My Remembrance Days plans took a turn last year only for me to have those plans replaced with a great Remembrance Day story. If you didn’t see it have a look back through my blog post for a quick read. It was a good one about two brothers continuing on with a tradition their Dad had started. I was blessed to have heard it and felt very good to once again be at the right place at the right time. I am sure that family is once again following that tradition. The second thought of today is of Loralea Wark. Ms. Wark is a Teacher at St. Pat’s High School here in Yellowknife. She is one of the Teachers responsible for making sure our young people don’t forget what was done for the world during the great wars (WWI and WWII and of course others). What can I tell you about Loralea Wark? Well she is the teacher that Kyla had for her Canadian War History course and the teacher who led the Canadian Battlefields trip but, I think Veterans Affairs Canada said it best. Here is what they have on their site;
Ms. Loralea Wark is a passionate Social Studies teacher in Yellowknife who goes above and beyond her teaching duties. In 2007, Ms. Wark took a group of 46 students to Vimy Ridge, where they participated in the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Battle and the rededication of the Vimy Monument. She then led another group of 35 students to the Canadian battlefields in France and Belgium in March 2009. Since returning from that trip, Ms. Wark was also involved in planning a third trip for 38 students in May 2010 for the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. Students wishing to participate on these trips must successfully complete a course in Canadian war history, which Ms. Wark created and teaches. Ms. Wark ensures that students are assigned to research a Canadian buried at a cemetery they will be visiting. Upon their return to Canada, the students are given an opportunity to reflect on their soldier and share the information and research with their peers. Through Ms. Wark’s dedication and commitment, her students have a deeper appreciation of the outstanding contribution of those Canadians who have served in the past and those still in service.
And here is what Jillian Austin had in the Brandon Sun (June 13, 2010);
History teacher Loralea Wark, has been awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for her contribution to the remembrance of the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of veterans. She has taken several students to Vimy Ridge and Holland. In the past three years, teacher Loralea Wark has taken high school students overseas for your not-so-typical field trip. Through the Canadian war history class that Wark created, students have had the opportunity to visit Vimy Ridge, the Canadian battlefields in Belgium, France and England, and most recently Holland to participate in the 65th anniversary celebrations of the Liberation of The Netherlands. “I found there was a serious lack of teaching of this kind of history in our curriculum,” Wark said. “If we don’t remember, we’re going to forget.” For her efforts, Wark was awarded with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in Winnipeg yesterday. According to Veterans Affairs Canada, the commendation is awarded annually to individuals who have contributed in an exemplary manner to the care and well-being of veterans, or to the remembrance of the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of veterans. The commendation is intended primarily for veterans, but may be awarded to civilians who have gone above and beyond. “I was speechless, and that doesn’t happen very often,” Wark said, with a laugh. “I couldn’t believe it … I had no idea. It’s still a bit surreal. I do what I love to do because I love it. I don’t expect to get this kind of credit.” Wark was born and raised in Brandon and went on to graduate from Brandon University with her teaching degree. She is now in Yellowknife, teaching at École St. Patrick High School. Wark said her 38 students came to her classroom every Wednesday night for an hour and a half for eight months. She knew it paid off overseas when she saw the students truly understand the significance of their trip. “It’s really emotional,” Wark said. “Lots of times teens especially get bad press … But when you see them in a cemetery laying poppies and whispering, ‘Thank you’ … and they’re so deep in thought about what they’ve seen … It’s indescribable,” Wark said. In Amsterdam, the students participated in the national moment of silence in Dam Square. They also visited Anne Frank’s house, attended the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate and a military tattoo, along with the Liberation Parade in Wageningen.
So what more can I say about Loralea Wark, well the first thing that comes to mind is “Thank You.” Thank you for showing my daughter the importance of Remembrance Day and Thank You for making sure the next generation (after mine) remember what was done for us and them. Teachers who go out of their way to teach, not because they have to , not because it gets them a pay cheque but because what they want to teach is important and who they teach it to are important to them, well those are the teachers we want and need. Loralea Wark is one of those teachers and for that I say thanks and I know Kyla says thanks as well.
So my Remembrance Day series “Lest We Forget” has come to its end. So, Private Samuel Hamilton, my neighbour, my high school friend’s Pilot husband, Cliff Wolfe (from last years Remembrance day story), Ms. Loralea Wark (the Great Canadian War History Teacher) and of course all those (more names then I can write here) who have giving so much through service in our different branches of Military (both past and present service) I thank you all.
Here are the last of the images I borrowed from Kyla. Enjoy, thanks following along and as always Happy Shooting.