Friends of the Forces Fellowship were on hand at Sunningdale School when Elementary students raised 159 Canadian flags in memory of Canadian fallen soldiers in the Afghan War; one flag for each fallen soldier.
“We honour and teach our kids the importance of the remembrance,” Dave Osberg, principal of Sunningdale Elementary School said.
He says it is a correlation to the freedoms which we all enjoy within our country. He also said he is proud of his students for respecting the seriousness of Remembrance Day and understand the purpose of why soldiers fought and died for everyone. “We feel at our school that it is important to honour the memory of those that fought and died for us, as well as the soldiers that continue to fight for us.”
The father of a Sunningdale Elementary student died in active duty in Afghanistan 10 to 15 years ago. Thus, the school’s commemoration services focus mostly on Afghanistan veterans.
“There is a real connection here,” Phil Adkins, director of Friends of the Forces Fellowship said.
He says they have been working with the school and its students for the last few years to place flags in front of the school in memory of the 159 Canadians that have fallen in the Afghan war. “This kind of brings the Remembrance Day closer to students here.”
“We have been here and were involved with an assortment of community activities,” Ken Hawkes, another director of Friends of the Forces Fellowship said.
Lyle Johnson, a director of Friends of the Forces Fellowship said, “We are proud of the school for their involvement and remember the services at their local level. Mr. Osberg and his staff and students taken it very much to heart and they make great demonstrations and presentations.”
To the young minds of Sunningdale, he said, “You have taken a special place in this city to represent specifically the Afghanistan veterans in the last war that they were involved with. You guys are commemorating them.”
Friends of the Forces Fellowship’s purpose is to support the Armed Forces who are currently serving, as well as their past members who are retired and require support. The organization generates funds, holds its annual car show, organizes concerts, and holds other activities for generating funds for the goodwill of the Moose Jaw community and its veterans.
The initial idea was to drill into the ground outside of the school so that the students could place the flags out there but due to critical weather conditions, students held he flags indoors in front of the memorials made by the students themselves.
“(I) love this tradition and of course, look forward to it again next year,” Principal Osberg said.