A hundred years ago, the guns fell silent. A century later, Humber remembers.
This Remembrance Day marked 100 years since the armistice that ended the First World War.
Humber College held services across the campus on Friday, Nov. 9, to allow students and staff to remember the sacrifices of those who have served.
During the memorial at the University of Guelph-Humber, Dalton Beseau, a third-year Justice Studies student, said it’s important to remember and commemorate the sacrifices of veterans and those still serving.
“I feel like it’s really important to get out and say a couple words, it doesn’t take very long,” Beseau said.
Luke Ettinger, a first-year Media Studies student, read “In Flanders Fields” during the service. Ettinger said he wanted to take part because he couldn’t attend local ceremonies back home.
“Remembrance Day has always been a tradition for my family … we would always go to the local legion,” the Nova Scotia native said.
Ettinger’s great-grandfather served in the Construction Battalion.
During Guelph-Humber’s service, as the final notes of the “Last Post” gave way to silence, the only noise was the sound of water trickling down the wall of plants in the atrium. At North Campus, the mood was equally sombre as Carey French, a Humber Journalism professor, spoke again this year during the service.
He said Remembrance Day helps put the past in perspective for the future.
“I’m always heartened by the fact that when I look around and talk to the audience, it’s a cross section of Canadians, it’s people who’ve been here for generations, people who have been here for months,” French said.
He said the emotional connection endures although there are no longer any living veterans who served during the First World War.
“It’s just important to know that people like you and I made those sacrifices,” French said.
During the service, he highlighted the untold story of those who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“We now know, that veterans, particularly young men under 24, are two-and-half-times more likely to take their lives than their counterparts in civilian life,” said French, concluding the same could be said of earlier conflicts, up to and including the First World War.
French said naming Anita Cenerini as this year’s National Silver Cross Mother closes the circle on bringing these hidden casualties to light. Cenerini’s son, Pte. Thomas Welch, took his own life about three months after returning from frontline service in Afghanistan in 2004.
“I am proud to say that we honour them today,” French said.