I was fortunate to attend the Athabasca School Remembrance Day assembly last week. It was great to see the honour and respect the young students showed veteran in attendance, and how they were moved by the stories of war and sacrifice.
The ceremony reminded me how tightly connected this neighbourhood is to the military in general and World War II in particular. Most of the houses in the Normandy Heights neighbourhood were built right after WWII — in fact, many of the homes are called ‘wartime homes’ and were built for returning soldiers. Of course the name “Normandy Heights” reflects the huge role Canadian soldiers played on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day.
In Lakeview, we still have some WWII veterans living in the homes they built in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Mr. and Mrs. Arndt are into their eighties and are still active in the community with Boy Scouts and the new Community Gardens. While he has recently retired from the LCA, Mr. Jones is still very active in the community with the airport authority and veterans groups, and played a large role in the new war memorial on the Legislative grounds.
Whether you honour our veterans at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park, at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Agridome, with your family or just walking around Normandy Heights, I hope you are able to take a moment to reflect on the incredibly positive impact our veterans have made on our community. Not just during wartime, but for decades after.
More pictures from the Athabasca ceremony are on Flickr. If you’ve got some photos to share from your school, drop a link in the comments!