Nov 13, 2020 Message to Members
“…be silent for a moment.”
There is so much noise out there:
so many voices, so many opinions, so many competing positions. The static emanating
from south of the 49th alone is overwhelming, distracting, and
exhausting! Updates from our own Provincial Health Office and Dr. Henry elevate
the volume further. Community Facebook pages and other social platform chatter contribute
to the cacophony of swirling sound bites. The positive test numbers are rising,
new restrictions on social gatherings and travel have been introduced, and
other Canadian provinces are actively returning to more restrictive measures.
And squarely in the middle of this
week’s wall of white noise is the day ‘of our most sacred Remembrance.’
Although my grandparents did not
serve during conflicts of the 20th century, they were very connected
to the Royal Canadian Legion. Because of this, Remembrance Day was a
significant day in our house when I was growing up. My Uncle Vern played the
bagpipes; he would march on November 11th, playing with the band
while our family gathered. And for myself as an educator, the days in school
which led to November 11th have always included somber reflection,
punctuated by a school-wide gathering with its own vibrations. My thoughts this
year turned to what the sounds of Remembrance Day would be in our schools in
Two things really get me: the cap
toss in June, and the anthem on Remembrance Day. Without fail, I find myself
struggling to sing “…with glowing hearts…”. My throat closes with
emotion, every year. This year was no different as I stood at my desk in my
home office, and tuned in to the stream of my town’s service. While for the
first time in decades I was not present to hear the anthem sung by a chorus of
students, the anthem was sung!
It has been truly inspiring to
follow the work of our Principals and Vice-Principals as they have created and
supported innovative, respectful, and heart-felt observances throughout BC.
Virtual gatherings have included
classroom contributions, recorded and seamlessly woven together. When the tech
failed, skilled and wise teachers – prepared for every possibility, as always –
stepped forward with students ready to go live before the camera. Student
leaders honoured our fallen, and shared their gratefulness for the sacrifice of
so many. A Principal who was unable to bring students together for The Last
Post and Reveille instead brought the music to the students and
filled the corridors with the sound of bugles that flowed through each open
door and created that stunning moment of unity.
And then … there was silence.
If only for a moment or two, we
shared a silence this week. Perhaps in 2020, the moments of silence were
deeper, more reflective, and more profound. Perhaps we spent two minutes
thinking of sacrifice and its gift. Perhaps we spent two minutes thinking of
hardship and suffering. Perhaps we spent two minutes thinking about peace and
love and hope. And perhaps we were able to cut through the noise and realize,
while we are navigating very challenging times, there are worse things.
Keep well and stay safe.