Every year, I, like many students across Canada, participate in remembrance ceremonies at my school and in my city. In all that time, I have never had a more active role as I did during the three ceremonies we attended in and around the city of Dieppe commemorating the disastrous invasion attempt in 1942. I did not lay a wreath or read the promise of remembrance, but as a representative of the Vimy Foundation, Canada and the younger generations, I knew my presence represented a lot. And the response was overwhelmingly positive. After every ceremony, members of the public and distinguished guests came up to us. They asked about the Foundation and our trip, but they mostly expressed how happy they were to see us, the young, continue to remember those who came before us. We were even seen as important enough not only to stand an honour guard for the fallen the night before but to stand guard for the guests and participants as they entered the salle des Congrès for the reception.
And yet for me, what truly brought home the theme of the continuation of remembrance, was seeing my fellow participants. Listening to Andrew and Roseline read the Commitment to Remember in both official languages in a sea of adult voices. Watching two different participants place their wreaths at every ceremony among veterans and prominent guests. At one ceremony, a dozen children from the area placed flowers at the monuments we had gathered around. On their shoulders rest the responsibility of remembrance and the continuation of tradition. They are the ones who will attend ceremonies like these for years to come. After spending two weeks with some of them, I know we are in good hands.
– Sarah Verrault, London, Ontario