More than four hundred St. Ignatius students attended a Remembrance Day ceremony in the school’s courtyard on Friday, which included the laying of a memorial wreath and many moving tributes to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in war.
Members of the Cayman Islands Veterans Association, school faculty, students, Scouts and Girls Guides, and the parish’s Father Suresh Rajaian hung their heads in prayer as a moment of silence was observed by all.
“Let us learn from the horrors of war. Let us receive with gratitude the gift of our freedom. Let us learn from the mistakes of the past and work together to build a future where no human being is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, that very same sacrifice that is at the heart of the Christian faith,” said veteran Larry Rotchell, asking God for blessings and for protection from the horrors of war.
“They went with songs to the battle. They were young, straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted. They fell with their faces to the foe.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them,” said Mr. Rotchell in his prayer.
A cascade of poppies fluttered down from the second floor from the hands of students Jayda Rae-Smith and Rohanna Finch.
Poppies are used by veterans to ensure that the men and women who were killed in combat are not forgotten.
Keith Millar, St. Ignatius music teacher and bugler for the service, played the “Last Post” at sundown.
The “Last Post” is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that a soldier has gone to his final rest, and at commemorative services.
Head of Primary James Hickey, on behalf of the school community and wider community in Cayman, thanked those involved in the special service: “To Graham Walker and members of the Veterans Association, we thank you for your time today in helping us to remember the actions and sacrifices made during the war resulting in freedom for us all.”
He said the United Nations, as part of their sustainable development goals, have set a target of having peace and justice across the globe, supported by strong institutions.
Veterans Associations across the world are instrumental in working toward this admirable goal, and remind us of the need for peace and justice, Mr. Hickey noted.
He thanked the veterans present and those who were unable to be there for the courage and personal sacrifice they had made for everyone.
“You and your colleagues will never be forgotten by our community,” he said.
He also thanked teacher Fiona Burns for her involvement in the service. She said it was a day of gratitude and thanksgiving.