Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 15, 1999
St. Joe's remembers its WWII veterans
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
"They were just boys," said Spiritan Father Michael Troy as he looks at the names of former St. Joseph's High School students who fought in the Second World War.
"Some of them were just boys when they died."
Troy points to the black marbled Remembrance Day monument in the middle of the new indoor courtyard at St. Joseph's. Enclosed in the monument, are the names of the 575 alumnae who "rallied to the Canadian flag in World War II." Forty-eight of them were killed.
Troy read each of the names aloud as students and staff from St. Joseph's and St. Catherine's gathered for the school's annual Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 10.
Initiated by Troy and former teacher Hank Meronyk, the ceremony at St. Joseph's began almost 30 years ago. This is the first year it was held indoors.
"We need the (students) to always remember the wars," said Richard Waterson, 68, a veteran. "Because the freedoms we have today would not be here if we had not fought back then."
Such an annual ceremony is pivotal in a student's learning, said Margaret Ligertwood who doesn't think students today "understand what war means. They're not taught enough about it in school."
Ligertwood, 77, who also served in World War II, suspects when the world war veterans have all died, Remembrance Day may lose some of its importance.
"You might have some of the sons and daughters remembering, but who knows what will happen to it," she said. "We hope they continue this for a long time."
Waterson added, "I don't think there will be another war like the world wars, but there will always be wars. I don't see in the future that there will be total peace. There will always be wars and there will always be veterans to remember."
For youngsters like Mitchell MacPhee, wars are pictures in a textbook. His understanding of war is what he hears from his grandfather and great uncles who served overseas.
"Every year we watch the (ceremony) on TV," said MacPhee, a Grade 6 student at St. Catherine's. "My family still remembers it every year.
"I think it's important to remember."