If Ye Break Faith

Do you wear a poppy or do you just wonder why anybody would wear one? What’s the reason? Do you even wonder why any sensible person would take 45 minutes out of their day to go to a Remembrance Day Ceremony? You might think it’s only a ceremony. However the truth is that people will take years and years out of their life and offer themselves to go and protect Canada even though there is a chance that they will die. I think we can take two minutes out of our day to stand in silence to respect those who fought.

The first world war took place in 1914 and stretched into 1918. Many people died in the first weeks of the war. It took the lives of more than 60 000 Canadians. It was considered the bloodiest was of all time. Nobody could tell the amount of suffering these people and their families went through. Many young Canadians went to flight schools to learn how to fly planes in the military. The economy dropped and unemployment effected Canada very much. Women had to wear badges that said “knit or fight”. So basically they either would make provisions or go fight. At last the enemies backed down and the First world war had ended.

The second world war stretched from 1939 to 1945. Nearly 50 000 Canadians died and at least 50 000 Canadian soldiers were injured. With new technologies this war went on even longer with a military, a navy and a flight force. With new guns and bombs people became more strategic but the costs were very high. Not many people  survived an injury without doctors. The medic’s lives were in danger at all times even though they weren’t serving on the front lines. It was a hazardous job to keep the soldiers healthy. Hitler and his Nazi party killed many people and many were put into concentration camps. Surviving was a hard thing to do and then finally Hitler backed down and killed himself. The war was finally over.

The brave soldiers fought in even the worst conditions. They didn’t hesitate when it came to protecting Canada. I think we can give up time to go to a ceremony to honour those men and women who generously gave their lives. They gave more than two minutes of a day. This year on Remembrance Day, wear a poppy, and give two minutes of silence. Remember “If ye break faith in us, who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.” (John McCrae)

Poppy

Elena Ewert, Bezanson Alberta
1st place winner, Intermediate Level Essay 2016
Alberta-NWT Command, Royal Canadian Legion

Military Service Recognition Book, Volume IX 2017 page 107

Bezanson History- Did You Know?

Peace Country Thunder Basketball started out in Bezanson and was started by a group of young women at Peace Wapiti Academy (former Bezanson students) who wanted to have another option for club basketball. Darrell Willier is the coach for this club team and he also coaches at Bezanson school. This club was started in April 2009 as a U17 Women’s team and has grown into the successful club it is today, with many boys and girls teams of various age categories!

History of the Poppy

Each November, Poppies bloom on the lapels and collars of millions of Canadians. The significance of the Poppy can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, over 110 years before being adopted in Canada. Records from that time indicate how thick Poppies grew over the graves of soldiers in the area of Flanders, France. Fields that had been barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended. During the tremendous bombardments of the war, the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing the “popaver rhoeas” to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and the Poppy began to disappear again.

The person who first introduced the Poppy to Canada and the Commonwealth was Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of Guelph, Ontario, a Canadian Medical Officer during the First World War. John McCrae penned the Poem “In Flanders Fields” on a scrap of paper in May, 1915 on the day following the death of a fellow soldier. Little did he know then that those 13 lines would become enshrined in the hearts and minds of all who would wear them. McCrae’s poem was published in Punch Magazine in December of that same year, and the poem later served as inspiration three years later for Moina Michael, an American teacher. Moina Michael made a pledge to always wear a Poppy as a sign of Remembrance.

During a visit to the United States in 1920, a French woman named Madame Guerin learned of the custom. Madame Guerin decided to make and sell poppies to raise money for children in war-torn areas of France. The Great War Veteran’s Association in Canada (our predecessor) officially adopted the poppy as its Flower of Remembrance on July 5, 1921.

Today, the Poppy is worn each year during the Remembrance period to honour Canada’s Fallen. The Legion also encourages the wearing of a Poppy for the funeral of a Veteran and for any commemorative event honouring Fallen Veterans. It is not inappropriate to wear a Poppy during other times to commemorate Fallen Veterans and it is an individual choice to do so, as long as it’s worn appropriately.

Thanks to the millions of Canadians who wear the Legion’s lapel Poppy each November, the little red flower has never died, and the memories of those who fell in battle remain strong.

In Flanders Fields

legion-history-of-the-poppy-wbg-resized

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
~ May 3, 1915

(As published in Punch Magazine, December 8, 1915)

 

Article from The Royal Canadian Legion

Bezanson History- Did You Know?

Northern Energy Basketball was started in 2015 by the Pilgrim Family in Bezanson. This U17 Women’s Basketball Club team still has Bezanson participants on it from players, to coaches, to managers and continues to strive to develop players for the college or university basketball level.

Bezanson History- Did You Know?

A.M. Bezanson was born in 1878 in Halifax, NS and grew to be an adventurer, in his own words. In his booklet, The Peace River Trail, he referred to the large, sparsely settled area in Alberta as “The Last West.” It was to this area another transcontinental railway was to be built from Winnipeg to Edmonton and then to the Last West before heading to the Pacific.

It was into this area Mr. Bezanson arrived in 1906 and when he wrote The Peace River Trail, it was used as advertising and promotion of the area as far away as China. It was a book that was meant to provide information about this beautiful and bountiful land for home seekers. A. M. Bezanson spent 1906 travelling the area, gathering information, promoting the settlement of the Peace River area.