The son of a veteran took issue with an Ontario high school that elected to skip Remembrance Day ceremonies last week.
Paul Ouellette was so upset by Riverside High School’s decision to forgo ceremonies because Remembrance Day fell on a Sunday he showed up to play the bagpipes beneath the school’s Canadian flag Monday morning.
"Lest we forget ought to be more than something convenient for Remembrance Day. We’re the generation they did all that for. To disregard it or ignore ... It’s terribly sad," Ouellette said. "I’m proud of the sacrifice my father made and his contemporaries made."
The principal at Riverside High School in Windsor, Ont., told CBC News on Friday the school encourages all students to attend Remembrance Day events across the area.
At 11 a.m. Monday, Ouellette, who learned to play bagpipes when he was nine, played Flowers of the Forest alone and in the rain, beneath the flagpole on the school’s front lawn.
"It’s the closest thing to a prayer we have in piping," Ouellette said. "I thought the right thing for me to be doing ... would be to come over and play the lament on the pipes under the flag at 11 o'clock to help them not forget.
"Hopefully next year, they’re inviting me inside for an assembly."
Riverside student and reservist Stephen Strickland walked out of class Friday in protest.
"Every school I know of ... is also doing a small little ceremony. You don’t have to go outside for five hours and stand there and freeze. Just a little speech or something," Strickland said. "Something that shows the school itself cares and not just the individuals in it."