We are hesitant to write this article because several people have noted they enjoyed the Remembrance Day Ceremony held at Porter Creek.
We were not impressed.
The school filed into the gymnasium at 10:50 a.m. on November the 8th.
The student body sat down in the chairs provided, and soon the lights were dimmed and the mood was somber.
The practiced formal proceedings took place: the Midnight Sun Pipe Band played a musical tribute, the honour guard marched in followed by the veterans, and designated students carried crosses and candles up to the stage.
This is where the commemoration started downhill.
The sound of machinegun fire was heard, and a bright flash lit up the gym as the cross-bearers fell in a grisly pantomime of the dying soldiers we had gathered to remember.
This seemed like a bad way to honour the memories of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
We doubt veterans would want to be reminded of machine guns.
We doubt they would want to be reminded of death.
It would be more appropriate to be reminded of the triumph and accomplishment of our past.
Don’t get us wrong, we shouldn’t forget the deaths and the sacrifices.
But this sort of thing should be done in a respectful way.
Mimicking sounds of weaponry comes off as an attempt at shock value, which has no place in a Remembrance Day ceremony.
I saw nothing wrong with the presentations following, but I was offended when the time came for the “multimedia production.”
This consisted of several scenes from the movies Pearl Harbour and Saving Private Ryan, as well as clips from a Green Day music video for the song Wake Me Up When September Ends.
Also, I am told that clips from a video game were used, although I did not recognize them.
The production was set to the song So Far Away.
Let’s set aside the fact these clips portrayed American actors acting as American soldiers, and focus on the other major faults.
The video was filled with close-ups of Tom Hanks and Ben Affleck, both well-known actors that have nothing to do with Remembrance Day, and explicit violence concerning bloodshed, weapons and explosions.
This graphic display completely detracts from what we, as a nation, are trying to respect and honour.
Instead of a thoughtful, heartfelt Remembrance Day accolade, we witnessed the equivalent of an action movie, a Hollywood-styled mockery of everything else involved in the ceremony.
While there was really nothing wrong with the rest of the assembly, the multimedia production could be considered by some to be childish and not respectful at all.
The sacrifices made weren’t fully acknowledged; in fact, they were trivialized.
Again we bring up the concept of shock value, and again we note its complete inappropriateness in a Remembrance Day ceremony.
This is not meant to stir up any controversy or rattle any cages — we merely wish to express disappointment with the sordid display.
I hope there is a more tasteful video shown next year, and I pray that it doesn’t include any more Hollywood superstars or needless violence.
Erik Jovanovich and Iantha Greer are Porter Creek Secondary students.