Twenty years ago, Jennifer Kwan published “Voices from the Trenches” in The Eyeopener, one of Ryerson’s student newspapers.
Kwan interviewed students about their relationship to Remembrance Day and their traditions to commemorate the event. The article provides insight from students who had recently immigrated to Canada and their connections to war and conflict.
One of the perspectives featured in the article is a first-year information technology management student who is a Kosovar Albanian refugee. The student and her family fled to Macedonia just days before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombing. The student discusses her relationship to war since leaving Kosovo and immigrating to Canada in the fall of 2000. Kwan wrote,”… young people approach her with questions about Kosovo, and while she thinks they should be aware of what’s happening in the world when it comes to war, she says people shouldn’t let it consume them.” 1
A business student from the United Arab Emirates interviewed in the article believes we should be spending more than one day reflecting on our history of war. The student shares his family’s experience during the 1991 Persian Gulf war and the emotional impact of living near a conflict zone. “It has happened before and it can happen again. It shouldn’t be a distant memory.” 2
Another student describes how every year her grandfather recounts stories of the Second World War and discusses his past as a commander for the Polish underground resistance. Kwan wrote, “Even though she’s heard these stories before, she sits beside him and listens, knowing that he wants her to remember them and learn the lessons.” 3
To read the full article, click on the image above and select “view full-size.”
The newspaper article included in this blog post was taken from the Toronto Metropolitan University Archives Remembrance Day Clipping File. The Archives preserves students’ experiences and serves as the institutional memory of the Ryerson community. For more student perspectives on Remembrance Day, click on the images below.
1Kwan, Jennifer. “Voices from the Trenches.” The Eyeopener, November 8, 2000.