In the weeks before Remembrance Day, a group of École Salish Secondary students enlisted the help of classmates to write 50 postcards to mail to veterans in Surrey.
Hold High the Torch, a student group whose goal is to remember our fallen, honour our veterans and support the troops, prepared postcards for eight Second World War and Korean War veterans who live in Surrey in recognition of their service to Canada. In previous years, the group distributed postcards through local Legions, but this year mailed them, as COVID-19 has caused some Legions to close or have reduced hours.
“All of these veterans have some connection with Hold High the Torch, and some of them have regular phone conversations with myself or other members to maintain that relationship with them,” said group founder Joon Sohn. “Honoring veterans isn’t just done one day or one season of the year, we wanted to do something that’s done all the time, and that’s one of the ways we do that.”
While the group would normally run a booth in the cafeteria for students to write postcards, or present to other classes or schools, members instead presented to two classes within their cohorts and gathered postcards from fellow students.
“The entire objective of Hold High the Torch is to connect veterans with newer generations,” said Grade 12 student Nastasja Ador. “It’s important to have these messages to create a connection with our students and veterans.”
“We’ve already made a lot of phone calls this year to check up on them and they’ve been really happy about it,” added classmate Aryan Verma. “They appreciate us calling and that makes us feel good too, it’s nice to know that we’re keeping them company.”
The group said they hope initiatives like this will motivate other students to reach out to veterans and continue building that connection between students and soldiers.
“It helps us maintain that connection, to have that appreciation and be thankful for their sacrifice and honouring them,” said Seline Luc.
“For me personally, as a Korean-Canadian, a lot of Korean soldiers fought in the Korean War, and I’m indebted to their sacrifice for what they’ve done,” said Sohn. “It’s why I’m here today, why my family’s here today, why so many people around the world have liberty, freedom, opportunity and prosperity. That’s a huge part of why we are inspired.”
This story has been reproduced with permission from School District 36 (Surrey). The original posting can be found here.