Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day Guilt

I'm feeling guilty tonight. Our school held its annual Remembrance Day assembly as I believe we should do, but our ceremony included God Save the Queen. I never really thought about the song before, but today the words were like a dagger in my heart. I couldn't wait for the song to end; all I could think of was how contradictory it was to being respectful of the Dene culture. I know it is a song that is traditionally used in Remembrance Day ceremonies but it is one I will want to seriously discuss before it is played again in our school.

As it is I started a conversation about how can we do something equally meaningful on National Aboriginal Day? I've planted the notion with some staff already. I'm even thinking we should have a Remembrance type ceremony for aboriginal people who essentially faced genocide with the introduction of small pox in the 1800's. Nevertheless, I will continue to observe remembrance day as I am greatful for the sacrifices made by previous generations in the belief that they were creating a better world for those who would follow them.

If you want to see a powerful song about Remembrance Day check out the Edcentre.ca blog @ http://edcentre.blogspot.com/

Just for the record, I've attached the lyrics to God save the Queen - I couldn't believe the second and third verse.

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter thine enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.

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