In honour of Remembrance Day, students in Dr Erika Behrisch Elce’s ENE100 class (first-year English for science and engineering students) were each given the task of writing a sonnet on behalf of one of the men or women of the Canadian Forces – and specifically those connected with RMCC – who died doing his or her duty. Ranging from World War I to the war in Afghanistan, and from national leaders such as Currie and Mackenzie to the unsung Lieutenants of the French front, the Officer Cadets produced thoughtful, heart-wrenching, and deeply respectful poems for their fallen comrades. Here is a sample of their fine work; the entire collection is on display outside Dr Behrisch Elce’s office (M309). If you have a few moments during these hectic days, please stop by to honour their subjects, and to admire their fine work. A printed collection will also soon be available through the Library for general distribution.

“How much does it take?” by Jester Ladia

They say you were different from the rest:

You had a higher calling, to be brave;

Your nation is what you wanted to save

-What did it take to pass this daunting test?


Forward and onward you commanded them,

Thrust into the darkness of the unknown,

This was the life you chose, didn’t you know?

They were yours. All yours. Loyal gentlemen.


But there was always something in your head:

Your family, your loved ones, those at home.

A small post card saying “I am quite well”;

Still, beyond the paper, you were alone.


With a heavy heart, you marched, and then fell.

You passed the test, who would have ever known?


“The Last Op” by Christopher Wright 26860

Lead lightning tore through the wing’d beast of steel.

O’er the skies the flames burned like the sun once did,

Now shadowed by the flying hell made real;

As down into the dark abyss we slid.


My crew rushed out through the billowing smoke,

Save one in the turret jammed fast and stuck.

I wrenched at the door, axe and hand I broke,

But to no avail; we had run short of luck.


You told me to jump, my chute all in flame.

A hand at the door to a hero I’d throw,

And wait long enough just to whisper your name,

Then out the beast to the ground I did go.


T’was on that night I stood saluting thee,

Yet here you stand now, saluting me.


“Day 0” by Morgan Hartlen 26675

A torrent of water, no end in sight.

A spark ignites the wall, far from any pier –

Just like we’ve trained, boys! It’ll take all our might;

Haven’t lost one in almost 50 years!


The choking black smoke, as dense as water,

To push through the pain, and combat the fire.

Breathing is laboured; it’s getting hotter,

Fighting for life, situation is dire.


Things look better with smouldering embers,

Off to see the doc, to get all checked out;

No time to rest, inspecting the members,

– You’re A okay! He says, without a doubt.


With fire in his heart – honey, I’m fine.

Hadn’t lost one since 1959.


Sonnet for Major CV Strong, by Benjamin Sea 26847

Today I know will be a better day,

The nights get longer with no end in sight.

But forward we march; we are here to stay,

We answered the call of a nation’s plight.


Our rivals hold their ground without flinching –

Forward we push, we follow our brothers.

My experience has been life changing;

We keep fighting to honour our fathers.

I long to return home to see my wife;

First I must serve with hour, and duty.

It is these principles that guide my life;

I pray for tomorrow’s morning beauty.


The glorious fallen may rest in peace;

Honour I seek, then I shall be released.