It’s never too early to honour Canada’s veterans, but with Remembrance Day fast approaching, the Cranbrook Legion is kicking off it’s annual poster and literacy campaign.
The initiative encourages students from elementary, middle and high school to submit art posters or literary poems and essays with a theme of remembering and honouring Canadian veterans who have served at home and abroad throughout the nation’s history.
The contest will be broken down by age group and a local panel of volunteers with the Cranbrook Legion Branch No. 24 will adjudicate the entries, which have ranged anywhere from 300-500 in the past.
The contest is open to schools in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Jaffray, as local winning entries can advance to zone finals, provincial finals and even national finals in Ottawa.
Clive Brown, president of the Cranbrook Legion Branch 24, says the contest is a good way to get kids and youth engaged in the spirit of remembrance.
“Kids are our future…some may grow up and the kids who are in Cadets might join the regular forces, but for the most part, we have to keep the younger generation, and specifically the younger kids, involved,” Brown said.
“With that, that’s how they’re going to remember, because if we forget about them, soon they’ll forget about our veterans.
“That’s one of the important things about the poster and literacy contest is not to remember war, but to remember the sacrifices and to remember our veterans.”
Categories are broken up by age and posters can be submitted in either black and white or in colour or an essay or poem with the theme of remembering Canadian veterans. Students can leave their entries with their teachers, and those entries will be dropped off at the Legion office on or before the Nov. 13 deadline.
First, second and third place winners are presented with an award and a certificate. Last year, there were 41 winners locally, three of which advanced beyond zones and into the B.C./Yukon command, while Alexis Blu Shuffler’s black and white poster went all the way to Ottawa.
“We can’t thank the schools and the teachers involved with the students enough, that lend their support behind this because it’s really good to have the kids involved,” Brown added.
Remembrance Day is still two weeks away, but Brown and the Legion are beginning to finalize plans for the ceremony in Cranbrook.
The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Byng Hotel and head to Rotary Park for the Remembrance Day service. After the ceremony, the public is welcome to come to the Legion office at 1 p.m. for a barbecue.