On the morning of Saturday, February 4, the Strathmore Legion celebrated 27 local students from grades 1-12 who created amazing art works in the theme of remembrance.

Every Fall prior to Remembrance Day, the Legion hosts their annual contest encouraging students to submit a poem, essay, or poster to reflect their understanding of remembrance. Strathmore Legion's Public Relations Chair Jennifer Franssen explained the theme of remembrance is important not only to honor those who fought in the past, but to also remember those who are currently fighting to preserve democracy and freedom, like the current war in Ukraine.

"It isn't just about the people that died, it's about the soldiers that are serving right now so that you enjoy a level of freedom and democracy that a lot of parts of the world don't have," she said.

While it's important for everyone to remember, Franssen said it's particularly important to continue educating students and the younger generation about what happened in the past and what's currently going on. Without education and the Legion reaching out to speak about their experiences, these students wouldn't learn about some of the sacrifices made to preserve and fight for the world's freedom.

"I think that what you'll see now is a real push to to make children aware. I know that we already talked about it with our grandchildren, and they're not very old, but we want them to understand that maintaining democracy comes at a cost." 

As for the students and their art, Franssen was impressed with the incredible effort and quality this year's winners put into their work.

"I'm just blown away at the talent and the thought that goes into doing the work. The essays were great. The poems were interesting. The artwork was outstanding and we have some really talented artists in town." 

Xander GroveXander Grove, who received first place in his category for his poem.

Grade four Westmount School student Xander Grove received the first place prize for his poem about remembrance.

"It was about wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day, and that's the main concept of it. It was talking about the war long ago," he explained.

Xander believes wearing the poppy is important because it's a reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us and our freedoms.

"It helps people remember those who died that day."

Xander, along with the other first place winners, will now be sent to the provincial round of the Legion's contest. From there, the winners of the provincial contest will move to the national round. 

Congratulations to all 27 award winners for their incredible work!

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