Monday, November 13, 2006

Remembrance Day


Whenever I can, I attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. This year I went to the ceremony in Ottawa, the Mecca of Canadian Remembrance Day ceremonies. I, and three of my classmates, Alexis, Brent and Jim, drove up in Brent's car. If you saw it on TV, it really was THAT WET.
Thanks to my instructor Frank O'Connor, we were able to get official Press Gallery press passes. As students, we had access to all the press pits at the National Remembrance Day ceremony, which was really cool. Reuters, CP (that's Canadian PRESS, not Canadian PACIFIC), and the Ottawa Citizen had better access, but you know, they're Reuters, CP (that's Canadian PRESS, not Canadian PACIFIC) and the Ottawa Citizen, I can let it slide.
I got pictures of Michaëlle Jean, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton.
As we were going for dinner, we drove past the Ottawa Mission. I had noticed, what to me, seemed like a lot of people begging. When I say I am a student and have "no money" it is different from those people I saw on the street. We drove past the Ottawa Mission and I no longer cared about my pictures of Michaëlle Jean, Stephen Harper or Jack Layton. The Ottawa Mission, in the broadest terms, is a homeless shelter, but they do much more than that. Besides beds some of the services they provide include employment resources, referals to other community programs, a kitchen training program, addiction programs, a housekeeping training program and a hospice. There will be lots of pictures of Michaëlle Jean, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton, some of them may even be better than mine, there will always be people to tell their stories, and those stories should be told, but the stories from the Ottawa Mission need to be told too.
I wish I had been there for Remembrance Day instead.
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