Remembrance in Three Movements
This video ( view in enlarge screen) was created for a Canadian High School Remembrance Service. It portrays Sacrifice and Remembrance in three movements. The first depicts the Sacrifice & Remembrance of those who survived the conflict. The second movement depicts the Loss & Remembrance of those whose loved ones never returned. The last movement conveys the voices of the Fallen . This video attempted to create a emotional connection for the students and to show the connection between the generation that were in the First & Second Wars with those that at the time, were serving in the Canadian military in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The video was sufficiently effective that it was used twice, before I retired from teaching at Elliot Lake Secondary School.
First Movement : The accompanying audio is a the song, Friends Ain’t Supposed To Die Till They’re Old. It is from the classic Canadian Musical drama, Billy Bishop Goes To War. It is performed by the creators/stars of the musical, John Gray and Eric Peterson . It captures the the pain of surviving an armed conflict & living with the memories & loss.
Billy Bishop was the WWI Canadian Flying Ace. WWI was the war that in many ways brought Canada into its first stages as a mature independent country. We paid a terrible price in young Canadian lives in reaching this stage of development. Canadians & their history are forever tied to the “War to end Wars”. Remembrance Day – when the nation stands and remembers on the eleventh day of eleventh month at the eleventh hour. The children call it Poppy Day. Educators do their best to make sure their students understand the significance of the Red Poppy & know the poem, In Flanders Fields written by Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) John McCrae, a doctor with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, in the midst of the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium, in May 1915.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Second Movement : The accompanying audio is Irving Berlin‘s When I lost You. It is performed by Andrea Marcovicci. The song captures the longing & loss of anyone whose lives & relationships have been the collateral damage military conflict. The main part of the footage for this sequence was from the Battle of the Somme . The battle lasted five months, maimed or killed more than a million soldiers and placed young men on both sides in the middle of a protracted hell. It was difficult to tell victor from vanquished, The Germans had 660,000 dead or wounded. The Allies (including Britain, France and Canada) had 623,907 casualties including 24,000 dead or wounded Canadians, representing a quarter of the Canadian contingent. (Source)
Final Movement: The accompanying audio is Remember Me performed by the Canadian Tenors. We had the opportunity to hear them live in Elliot Lake, before they became international stars. They closed with this song and their moving performance fits perfectly with the final movement. As in John McCrae’s poem, it is the Remembrance of those that did not make it home that we must constantly re-evaluate. Why were they sent ? How were things altered ? If politics & the interest of business have failed them, we must hold those leaders accountable. We can not blame the Fallen for the flaws of our society and its leaders. We must Remember & act accordingly.