November 11th: Living Legacies and Celebration
Article by: 27472 (III) OCdt Eliza Bruce
Remembrance Day at the college can typically be pictured with a scene of russet leaves blowing against a backdrop of slate gray limestone structures, with a solemn array of cadets aligned on parade, prepared to march to the Memorial Arch for the RMC ceremony of remembrance.
The history of RMC’s geographical place, significant past, and influential future of the college creates a deeply traditional atmosphere that every new cadet naturally adapts upon crossing the Arch for the first time.
Every year sees a new generation of Officer Cadets stepping into roles as old as the school itself, filled with timeless traditions that cause the clock tower to almost stand still, adding meaning to the long list of names to have entered the college in service to Canada.
Each candidate that is accepted into RMC has their own reasons and motivations for joining the military and attending the college, but each one shares a particular legacy of proud military history, whether they come from a military family or are the first ones to join the Forces family. This living legacy continues to grow, and is enhanced by many moments throughout the school year that bring the act of remembrance close to home.
November 11th means something different to everyone in the Forces and at RMC, depending on personal experiences, but the unique training environment of RMC makes each and every Officer Cadet keenly in-tuned to their connection with Canada’s war history, their own role in the future defense of this country, and the cost paid by previous military members that lets an education and career in the military even be a possibility.
The past and future implications of what Remembrance Day signifies stand ever-near the hearts of each Officer Cadet, who remains keenly sensitive of the liability involved in what they have chosen to follow as a career. The rich ground history that has been laid to necessitate the provision of a military, under which sincere, disciplined, and industrious men and women have the honour to serve as Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Reserve members.
Remembrance Day is not just one day for many at the college, in the greater community of the Forces, and on the civilian side of Canadian citizens; it is a way of life, a daily act that occurs each and every day that must hold only memories.
On Friday, 11th Nov, the college will remember some recently deceased closely loved comrades. This memorial serves as a solemn, silent testament to Officer Cadets of the distant past and close past who have sacrificed their lives or died in service of the great and beautiful country of Canada, for which they joined to the Canadian Forces to serve.
But the shared memories of their lives, by the entire military and civilian communities that were connected to them, teach the invaluable importance of everyone’s personal legacy.
Listen to the stories of peers, veterans, teaches, mentors, and family, tell your own, and make your life one that remembers others and is remembered by others for good.
OCdt Bruce is pictured here with her épée, and dedicates this article to the lives and memories of OCdt Harrison Kelertas (who fought on the same weapon team), and her flight-mate OCdt Brett Cameron.