Laurier gathers to remember

On Wednesday morning, Laurier students and faculty gathered in the concourse for the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony.

Hosted by the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and the History Students Association, this year’s Remembrance Day theme was “Living with the Legacy of War”.

Nathan Thomson, vice-president of the History Students Association, states that the current generation, and those to follow, will be living with the legacy of war.

“[We’re now] looking beyond Canada for remembrance, looking beyond traditional conceptions of which wars we’re supposed to remember and how we’re supposed to remember them,” said Thomson.

Laurier’s chaplain Brian Bork began the ceremony with a prayer and was followed by Robert Donelson, vice-president of development and alumni relations.

Donelson urged attendees to consider the valuable members of a generation that were lost in war. “The promise of a generation was lost so that we might fulfill our promise.”

WLUSU president Laura Sheridan concluded her speech by saying, “Thank you to the people who created our world as we know it today” and reminded Laurier students of the privilege to be able to live and study freely.

Director of the Laurier Centre for Military and Strategic Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) Terry Copp spoke about the unique position of Canadian war veterans in having fought for the liberation of Europe stating, “[They] fought for the hope for peace”.

After the moment of silence, Dean of Students David McMurray read Jon McCrae’s In Flanders Fields.

Dr. John Laband, Laurier History Professor and LCMSDS associate was this year’s guest speaker.

Of South African descent, Laband spoke about the legacy of war and how it is applicable to everyone.

“We live on in remembrance only so long as there are people to commemorate…[How can we think of] wars as a living part of our legacy today?”

“I think Dr. Laband was able to bring something this year that was different than ceremonies we’ve had” said Thomson.

“[We’re] moving away from this focus on heroic military tradition and understanding that we are now living with the legacy of war. Are we remembering, as Dr. Laband would say, the ‘goodies vs. the baddies’ or are we remembering how every strata of society is affected by such wars, and then how future generations [will be] affected by the wars.”