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L.A. Beat

This week— remember the veterans (Go to the Galt)

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Remembrance Day is one day of the year set aside to remember  our veterans who fought for freedom and against tyranny.
 One way to do that is by attending  the Remembrance Day ceremony at Exhibition Park South Pavilion at 9:45 a.m. or the cenotaph ceremony at noon, Nov. 11.
Afterwards, the Legion will be open at 1 p.m. and feature the music of Silk and Steel.
The Galt Museum also has a special Remembrance Day exhibit featuring the works of 37 LCI students and  six teachers who commemorate D-Day at Juno Beach, June 6, 1944 which was a major turning point in the Second World War as allied troops, including 14,000 Canadians along with British and American troops landed on the coast of Normandy to take back Europe from  the Nazis.
The works include  albums, drawings, posters and shadow boxes honouring the lives of Canadian soldiers. The exhibit is  the culmination of a year long project by the students, each of whom received the name and service record of one of the Southern Albertan Canadian soldiers who died during Operation Overlord, researched their lives and deaths and created memorials for them.Juno Beach cost 340 Canadian lives and left another 540 injured.“ With a teacher’s guidance, students were invited to choose a soldier from a list of people from this area. These particular soldiers were  involved with D-Day. They were asked to do some research so they were able to find out first  hand what happened to a young man,” said curator Wendy Aitkens.
“We hear the numbers talk about the strategy of days like that. Students were able to ‘meet’ one of these individuals who were there and who died, she continued adding they tried to interview family members and where they could they did interview them. She said  she hopes  some of the family members  will see the exhibit and get in touch with the students. There are 10 pieces to the exhibit including posters, poetry and albums designed to honour these young men.

“There was a selection of pieces we thought would make a very meaningful exhibit. This little exhibit is just a very small part of this very large project. I’m amazed but the dedication and sensitivity the students have shown in creating these memorial piece,” she continued.
The students also had the opportunity to go to France and visit Juno Beach. When they were they had a parade where the students followed the flags and walked  single file  to the Juno Beach centre  where they met the mayor. Prior to this had gone to the cemetery to see the graves of the soldiers.
“Each of the students were asked to bring two small stones  from the area or from soldier’s home. Something that would appeal to them left one stone on gravesite and after the memorial service walked down to water’s edge and after a moment’s silence, they threw the second stone in  the water,” she said.
“ They were Grades 9 to I believe 12. So these young men weren’t much older than these students,” she said adding this exhibit is an excellent enhancement to S other Second World War artifacts the  Galt has including items from the prisoner of war camp here as well as some post war artifacts like an item used to train soldiers in the use of the Javelin anti-aircraft missile. The exhibit is up now.
The Galt will be open from 1:00 - 4:30 pm on Remembrance Day, Wednesday, November 11.  The exhibit Juno Beach - A Journey of Honour  will run until January 31, 2010.  There  is also a display of newly acquired military related artifacts.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor


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