It was an overcast day, but still bright and surprisingly rain-free, when 200 high-school students descended upon the lawn of the George Derby Centre, a veteran care facility in Burnaby, B.C. Within minutes the lawn was filled with thousands of flags, winding down either side of the pathways, dispersed over the grass and a few more adventurously placed in the nooks and crannies of the nearby trees and shrubs. The sight is one to behold, sombre and patriotic, the flags creating a meditative walk of Remembrance for members of the nearby community.
Meanwhile, sparks of joy emerged from the haphazard way the flags have been arranged. Children of all ages visited the centre, from the high school across the road and the neighbouring elementary school, to assist with the flag planting. This activity gave the children a healthy way to commemorate Remembrance Day by allowing them to participate, rather than only observe. Veterans of many ages were present to greet the children and interact with them as they excitedly determined the most beautiful location for their flag. Their energy brought smiles to fragile heroes and added life to the display that will surely remain long after they’ve returned to their classrooms.
Finally, the most precious flags were saved for a place of honour. A few flags had been inscribed with messages of remembrance and gratitude for the Centre’s residents. One flag summarized it all. It read, “In very loving memory to all the veterans who called George Derby home.”
We would like to add a “Thank You!”
The George Derby Centre cares for 300 aging and wounded veterans and could use your support! If you would like to Pledge a Flag yourself, there is still time (and flags) to do so. Be sure to visit www.georgederby.ca to find out more about the Centre and to make a donation today! The flags will remain on the grounds until November 12th, at which point that large group of high-school students will return to undo their handiwork.
The Flag Shop produced all of the flags for this event, they are customized, water resistant paper flags that were specially printed for George Derby. For more information on how you can create your own Remembrance Day flag display, contact The Flag Shop nearest you or visit our Remembrance Day website.