Glendon Campus
York University
2275 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4N 3M6
Glendon Remembers Those Who Have Served

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At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a moving Remembrance Day ceremony was held on the Glendon grounds, under the flagpole. Close to 100 members of the faculty, students, and staff were present at this annual event, the largest crowd for several years.

Glendon principal Kenneth McRoberts spoke about the importance of marking this day, especially given that Canada has a continued military involvement in Afghanistan, resulting in a new generation of veterans.

The flag was lowered to half mast while student Michelle Brise performed the taps on the trumpet and those in attendance observed two minutes of silence. Three members of the Glendon community recited moving texts written by members of the Canadian military during different actions.

Left: Associate principal Student Services Rosanna Furgiuele reads "Thanks for the
Tea". Behind her on the left, principal McRoberts, on the right, Alexandra
Verbinschi and Michael Barutciski

Associate principal, Student Services Rosanna Furgiuele read a war memory with the title “Thanks for Tea”, in which Captain Peter Leacock of the Royal Canadian Army explained how during the 1944 battle at Monte Cassino, Italy, members of his advance party dyed their white mosquito nets brown with the tea sent from home, in order to blend into the landscape, for protection against passing enemy planes.

Right: Professor Michael Barutciski reads Andrew Grenon's poem

Professor Michael Barutciski, graduate program director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs read “Pourquoi nous nous battons” (Why are we fighting?), a French-language poem by corporal Andrew Grenon of Windsor, Ontario, written at the age of 23, during his second tour of action in Afghanistan. Grenon was later killed, when his vehicle was attacked by insurgents. His poem, which appears on the site of the Department of National Defense and Canadian Forces in Ottawa, confirms his dedication to the mission, so that future generations – his children – won’t have to fight.

The third speaker was 4th-year International Studies student Alexandra Verbinschi, who read war veteran Elvis Baptiste’s poem, “A Veteran’s War is For Life”. In it, Baptiste explains that the passing of time and the honours received do not erase the fear and the horrors experienced in action:
“Now today, although the guns are quiet, the weapons in museums.
But I still live in it.
I’m still dodging bullets and running in my mind.
The fear still lingers as I still hide in those dungeons.
It’s a life-time battle trying to outstride. A veteran’s war is for life.”

This poignant tribute to those who have served and fallen, so that we could live in peace, was brought to a conclusion with the Glendon Musical Ensemble’s rendition of O Canada.


The Glendon Musical Ensemble sings O Canada

An article by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on November 12, 2010