Remembrance Day Student Monologue Writing Challenge
The Great Canadian Student Monologue Writing Challenge sponsored by The Drama Notebook Students from across the country will submit their original monologues and the best will be recognized. They will have their work published on our website and with The Drama Notebook. Monologues should be between 150 to 300 words maximum and must be written by a single student - not a group of students.
2021 Contest Winners
I’ll Miss You Too By: Alexandria Davidson, Age 16 From: Ontario, Canada Description: This piece is based on my real life experience as I parted realms with my late father, Jeffrey Alexander Davidson (https://ottawacitizen.remembering.ca/obituary/jeffrey davidson-1078535187). It is told from my creatively augmented inner perspective. Genre: Dramatic “You’re stronger than I thought you were.” Oh, I don’t think I’m strong. You though, you’ve been through so much. Yet people question why you continue to drink, and staggeringly, if you’re okay. “Stop asking if I’m okay.” It makes you sad when someone asks if you’re okay. Because they know, and you know, you’re not. I accidentally did ask you one time. Your response still lingers in my mind, your smile. “I’m okay.” You heard sniffles, under a poorly masked smile. I was trying to be strong for us. “Lexi, are you crying?” I was scared you weren’t going to be okay. On a separate occasion, you were laying down, I was tickling your hair. I began to tear up, and you just opened your eyes and smiled. All I could see was your beautiful blue eyes, and I was thankful I have the same ones. “He’s not going to make it to tomorrow” There's no way. We’re gonna go boating next summer. We talked about it. We’re gonna gotubing, all of us. He’s gonna be so excited to play games for real again, I got him an Xbox for Christmas, it's in two days. We’re gonna play a lot of games again, like we used to. I’m gonnabe moving into his apartment. We’re gonna be together. “You got that from me, you got that from me.” A chin-dimple I was insecure about when I was younger. I cried when you teased me for it, but it feels good to look in the mirror and see you. To look at my eyes and see your eyes. To drivethe boat and to make new memories. To build a better future, with your name everywhere I go. We were together. Those moments I’ll never forget, and they’ll always be ours.
A Word to the Living By: Sophia Blakely, Age 17 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A ghost of a soldier attempts to dissuade living soldiers from continuing to fight in what he believes to be a losing war. Genre: Dramatic [Austerely] Those men who still have their living wits about them, listen well to what I’m about to say. The world is cruel. That fact is without debate. [Scornfully] I have witnessed first-hand how vile men can act in times of war and tyranny - all in hopes of their survival, and possible glory. But that is strikingly less noble. I was not unfamiliar with traversing trenches - walking back and forth as the pools of mud tried to swallow me whole. I first maneuvered that path when I was younger than most of you are now. Though I’m not young anymore. Really, I’m not much of anything. [Dejectedly] It was an unfortunate thing to be my age in a war like that. If you fought well, you were guaranteed a spot in the next one. We all learned that lesson too late. [Dementedly] So, I’ll say this to you. If it’s glory you seek, go home. If it’s pride that’s keeping you here, go home. And, if it’s a life you want at the end of this, go home. Had I known better, I would have done the same. It bodes well to be a coward at a time like this. [Absently] Ah, but death is calling me back. How sweetly she beckons. Adieu. Adieu. Adieu… [Trails off]
Death No More By: Lauren Mohr, Age 14 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A soldier finds out they have died in battle. Genre: Dramatic The last thing I remember is trying to duck from the horrific sounds coming from the other end of the field. I felt pain and then…black nothingness. I woke up in a familiar place. I couldn’t remember but then it came to me…I was home. Finally, no more feelings of fear and terror. No more death. No more loss. No more depression. I made my way out to the kitchen and then I saw her. The beautiful woman I was going to marry one day standing there just in her beauty alone. We are only sixteen, so Mom thinks we’re too young, but one day it’ll happen. I just know. The feeling of excitement came up inside of me and I ran to her, to comfort her from feeling alone. But then I realized that tears were overflowing from her eyes. She fell to the ground. Sadness filled the room when I saw it. The paper she was holding with my name and the time of death. William Jones 15/05/1942.
Letters By: Maddie Hazeu, Age 14 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A letter to a fallen soldier from a wife. Genre: Dramatic My Love Charlie, I miss you. I know you said to stay strong and to take care of the family for you, but it is hard. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. I hear the sound of marching boots in my dreams, wondering if you’ll ever come home. Every time the doorbell rings, I’m scared to answer for fear of bad news. Don’t think I’m not proud of you love, our country needs you. You trained hard and worked harder, being more than just a soldier to most. Charlie, please do your best to make it home and meet your son. He has red hair, and brown eyes just like his father. I hope this letter (with pictures included) reaches you in good time, and that you may find joy and comfort within. We miss and love you so much. From your Love, -Catherine and baby Jake.
2021 Honorable Mentions
(in no particular order)
A Poppy Addresses the Sky By: Joy Shen, Age 17 From: Ottawa, Canada Description: A poppy addresses the sky and reflects on its feelings towards war. Genre: Dramatic Dear Sky, I have stared at you for what feels like years. Wonderingーwondering whether there will be an end to this bloodshed. Each day, I see countless young men and women scurry around the battlefield, carrying supplies and tending to the fallen; certainly afraid, but not showing any signs of such emotion. People in different uniforms unload all sorts of munitions and discharge them toward their enemy. But in this chaos, I ask, are the lives of thousands worth losing over this conflict? I am but a simple flower on this battlefield, but I yearn to see when those of varying backgrounds can come together. I want to hear the cheerful laughter on summerevenings and feel the Sun’s welcoming rays. The Sun no longer shines with warmth and the rain no longer drops down to heal the Earth. The ground is scorched by ammunition; the air is filled with deafening screams. Balls of fire engulf the once peaceful silence of nighttime. Every so often, I see fresh faces of those eager to assist their nationーbut like me, many only know part of the narrative. Soon enough, the youthful hints of joy in their faces morph into haunted eyes and empty expressions. My stomata tire from breathing in fumes of havoc. O, Blue Sky! When will this tragedy end? Every battle is promised to be the last, yet again and again, blood spills over these fields. Only the creativity of the soldiers’ letters makes this place tolerable. If Icould, I would extend my stems across borders and persuade both sides to reach an agreement. I would weep tears for the fallen and cure the ill. I may not be an architect of peace, but I am poppy. I can and will remember those that served. Where Did My Best Friend Go? By: Kyra Scollan, Age 13 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A dog wonders where his owner went after he left for war. Genre: Dramatic My best friend left 3 years ago. I've been waiting for his return since I was two. “I won’t be too long, pal, just hang tight. Be a good boy for Beth!” That’s what he said before giving me a treat and walking out the door. Now I sleep by the door each night hoping he walks through and gives me a big hug. I miss his joy and his scent and playing catch with him. I whine every night for his return, I’m so confused. He was my only best friend. No one has ever shown me the same love James did. I don’t understand why he left. Does he hate me? I whimper at the thought. If only I knew what I could’ve done better for him to stay, at least a little longer. Where has my best friend gone and why? Missing Dad By: Danica VAN Leeuwen, Age 14 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A dead soldier’s dog reflects on how much she misses him. Genre: Dramatic I miss Dad. Why did he have to leave me and mom? He told me that he would be back soon. That was 3 years ago. I’m starting to think that he will never come back. I still sleep by the door every night, waiting, hoping and dreaming that he will walk through that door. Mom tries to make me feel better, but she will never replace dad. I love mom and she’s trying her best but it’s not the same. She always looks sad as well. She tries to put on a brave face, but I know she misses dad too. She tries to distract herself with work but even that doesn’t make her happy. I try to help her, but let’s face it. Dad’s not coming back. He’s always had a heart to help people and he’s not going to stop until he has to. He’s always been that way. That’s what I love about him but also what I hate about him. I just miss him and hopes he comes back soon.
Day We Remember By: Rya Doornbos, Age 14 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A drafted soldier’s love remembers him and hopes for his return. Genre: Dramatic Everyone knows how to be happy, but when he left my happiness went with him. It was about two weeks before we were going to get married. There was this loud bang, and these military people grabbed him and left just like that. Everyday I think he’s going to come back, but then every day passes. It’s just me, alone, sitting in the darkness. I have no one. Maybe I just need to face the facts that he isn’t going to come back. But every day I write letters and cry, just waiting for his response. On every letter I ask him when he’s coming home, but the answer isalways, “I don’t know.” I try to take deep breaths, but my breath turns into crying. I just want to be happy again. I think the puppy is helping. I found it outside, abandoned and alone. Itmade me realize that I was feeling the same thing, so I took it. Every day I feel a little happier because of that dog. I started telling it all the memories I have with my fiancé, and at thatmakes me start to feel some happiness. All I can say is that I remember the laughs, I remember the cries in his arms, I remember everything. Until he returns, all I can say is, I remember. A Chance to Say Goodbye By: Colin Haaksma, Age 14 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A soldier questions his decision to join the war and submits to injury. Genre: Dramatic Was any of this worth it? Was it worth the pain and sadness of losing everything? Would it have been better to stay home, living in fear, or to die a hero’s death, knowing I did the right thing? I had so much left to do, so much left to say. I will never get to meet my son, never see my wife again, never get to grow old. I don’t know if it was worth it. I would have felt bad if I hadn’t joined. I may have never gotten past that. It doesn’t matter anymore, nothing I can do now will change anything. There is no point in thinking about this, about any of it. All I can do now is hope I did the right thing, and deal with the consequences if I didn’t. The only problem is, I may never know if I did the right thing. I just wish I had a chance to say goodbye. Passion Missing in Action By: Ben Purvis, Age 14 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: A brother’s love of tanks took him from a loving family. Genre: Dramatic My Brother had a passion for armored vehicles. (Chuckling while speaking) When we were watching footage of the Mark 1, he ran to our mother, tugging on her skirt, and said, “I want to be in one of those things one day!” (Pause) I was scared for him. I’d seen those tanks get stuck in trenches and blown up by artillery. I couldn’t imagine what might happen to him. (Deep breath) Then the second world war began, and I was furious that it was started by the same country that started WW1. “What do those Germans want?” I yelled. But my brother was excited. He knew it was his chance to fight in one of our tanks. (Fixes glasses) He joined the 8th Royal Tank Regiment in 1940 and was put on a Valentine Mark 5 and was deployed in North Africa. I was terrified because I knew Panzer 4 had been tearing up our tanks for the past few months and The Tiger 1 was just released. I told him it was way too dangerous and that the Germans have more powerful weapons. But he said, “We beat the Germans in the battle of Britain, and they had more fighters than us. Just sit down and have some tea, I'll be fine.” The next day he was gone. I spent the whole day watching news reports from North Africa. Every scorched tank I saw made me worry. (Shrugs) Heck, one time I was shaking my cup of tea so violently that it splashed all over the place. Then one day he was reported missing in action, and we don't know what happened to him. Tear-Stained Letter By: Hephzibah Goddy, Age 13 From: Manitoba, Canada Description: Finding out that your love didn’t make it through the war. Genre: Dramatic They say when you love someone your world stops. Well, that's not true. Henry made my world turn. But here I am relishing in old memories wondering where my Henry is. War changes people. It leaves a hole in your heart. “What If?” repeatedly wandering through your mind, and questions left unanswered. Days are passing, and minutes are flying, but my heart is still waiting, holding onto that hope that maybe, just maybe he will come back. That this is just a terrible dream that I will wake up from. Reality hits me like a strong wind. I will never see him again. In my hands lay the fate of our love, I open it…… My heart stops. Tears stain the letter like paint to a canvas. I love with him with all my heart. I wonder if he is thinking of me in paradise. I hope wherever he is, that he knows that he was greatly loved by me. That every morning he was my first and only thought, no matter how imperfect he seemed to himself, he was always perfect to me. My Little Boy By: Grace Irakoze, Age 14 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A mother tells a friend about the day her son left for war. Genre: Dramatic And that was the last day I saw him, he went to fight in WW1 for our freedom. He left with such a big smile knowing he was gonna save millions of lives. Tears ran down my cheeks knowing my boy grew up, my little boy was gonna fight for the good of this world. I was truly a proud mother for he had always dreamed to one day fight for our country and that day had finally come. He was the bravest and smiled as bright as the sun. Yet little did I know my little boy wasn’t gonna make it back. Years came and went but there was still no sign of them. Finally on November 11, 1918, the war came to an end. But not all our heroes had come back; half of them lost their lives in the line of duty and we will forever remember their sacrifice. The First Poppy By: Avery Waxman, Age 13 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A young child expresses what it feels like to suffer the loss of a parent in warfare. Genre: Dramatic You know, I remember the day my father died: August 14th, 1942. I was five at the time. I remember the way the tears streamed down my mother’s pale cheeks, the way she sobbed when she heard the knock on the door at three in the morning. She knew it could only mean one thing. I was too young to understand much, but this I knew: Dad wasn’t coming home. The service was three days later. I remember people telling me, ‘Your father died an honourable death.' He died during the Dieppe Raid; did you know? He kept fighting ‘till the end. ‘A real hero,' everyone called him. During the eulogy, my teary-eyed mother told the story I’d heard as a child each night: my parent’s love story, and the story of my name. My father was a soldier in the first world war: my mother was a nurse. My father had been wounded, and as my mother tended to him, he produced a single poppy from beneath his uniform. He told her it was as beautiful as she was, and he brought her one from that poppy field every night until the war ended. They wed six months later. My name came from that poppy. You may think my name is childish. But my father called me his little poppy because I was strong enough to make it through the toughest storm. Just like that first poppy. Nothing can change the fact that my father fought for this nation and died protecting it. It won’t change when the clocks chime on the eleventh day, I’ll think of his sacrifice. Sure, it’s hard, but like that poppy, I stay strong even when it gets tough to hold on. After all, that’s what Dad would’ve wanted. His Poppy. A Fate Worse Than Death By: Megan Hibbs, Age 17 From: Newfoundland, Canada Description: Ghost of a fallen soldier speaks to his son. Genre: Dramatic It’s hard watching your life continue on without you. I died three years ago but I'm still here. You can't see me, but I'm here son. I watched you make the basketball team last spring, but I couldn't congratulate you. I watched you cry while looking at a photo of the two of us, but I couldn't comfort you. I wish we could go back to that moment in the photo; down by the lake six months before I got called away, back when everything was perfect. I've watched your mother fall in love with a man who isn't me. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to watch but I can tell that she's starting to heal and that she's happy. That's all I want for you son. Happiness. Being like this is torture, watching my life unfold in front of me, what should’ve been my life. I'm sorry son, I wish I could tell you that. I never meant to cause you so much pain. Unknowingly, you're standing right in front of me, and I would give anything to be able to hug you, my son. Watching all the big moments in your life but not getting to be a part of them is a fate worse than death. Blood-Soaked Poppies By: Sierra Mann, Age 13 From: Ottawa, Canada Description: An immortal war veteran takes it upon himself to host a public speech in honor of those who died, revealing what the government hid for so long in the process. Genre: Dramatic I have brought everyone here to discuss the truth of history before many of you were even born, so all of us might have a better future. A Remembrance Day, one may call it. As you may know, I am a veteran of the very first world war. “But, how?”, you may ask. And I don’t blame you for it, you were never allowed to know until recent times. Not every veteran died from old age, some of us were cursed to live forever, you may know us from stories, immortals. But we are not fiction. We are real people, sent to fight with mortals like you. Unlike you, however, we were forced to live in shame, for who we were. We were drafted off to strange seas, forced to kill our friends. We had to watch the ones we cared about die into our arms. There were so many men, young and with hopes and dreams of becoming heroes, only to lose that hope shortly by the horrors of bloodshed. There were so many women, who kept the world going with their intelligence and hospitality when the men couldn’t. There were so many people, who were shot and killed despite not wanting an inch of involvement in the war. There were so many children, who suddenly became orphans too young. This is why on this day; we must remember, remember the lives of those who were hidden, who were killed. When this day ends, there will never be any more blood-soaked poppies taken in vain. Bird’s Eye View By: Trinity Smith, Age 17 From: Nova Scotia, Canada Description: A discussion between two meadow larks in storytelling form. Genre: Dramatic “Have you ever seen such a mess?” asked one lark to another. “This is so bizarre. What are they doing? What are they accomplishing?” As they flew back over the bruised fields, littered with bodies, weapons, and blood, the little lark couldn't believe its eyes. “Years ago,” replied the older one, “this field was filled with grass and flowers. A wonderful meadow it was. This pasture heard only the sounds of the birds, and the wind which would rustle the trees andshrubs rhythmically. The grass was so green and full of life. There were bees and field mice occupying the place. The sky overhead was most often a serene blue with the softest white clouds decorating it.” They sat perched upon a branch of a hollow tree. “Now look. Look how much they have changed this place. Green grass and flowers no more, dirt and lonesome limbs take their place. While the fighting has stopped, the harrowing sounds still seem to echo, yet the silence is so loud it's ringing through my head.” “ Why do they do this, not only to this land, but to themselves?” “ I do not know.” “ Why do they cause themselves such suffering and pain with this conflict? I can't grasp what they're trying to accomplish from this. Their lifeless bodies dotting the grounds, which were once so peaceful and clean, leave their families to mourn. They band together, so polarized, armed and with a plan. They shoot at each other- each just as human as the other, yet they doit anyway. How can they do this? When the grass regrows, and the trees reclaim the barrenlandscape, and the stench of death dissipates will they remember?” “Perhaps. Like the land, they will have to heal first…” Remembrance Day By: Esther Obieme, Age 17 From: Nova Scotia, Canada Description: A man in his 80’s answers his grandchild’s question, “What is the meaning of Remembrance Day?” Genre: Dramatic When I was 9, my brother went to war. I remember waking up at dawn, the morning before he left, and crying to my mom. I ran downstairs, pulled open the front door, and there was my brother, walking towards a group of other boys from our street. For a second, I wanted to scream at the top of my voice. I wanted to cry and hold him and say, “don’t go!” but I already knew what his reply would be. “I have to go Max, it's for the peace we don’t have now, and a better future.” I held the door, looking at my brother who had his back to me. Just when I thought he would walk off without saying something - anything. He turned, and looked me straight in the eyes, then he nodded and walked away. I had seen him make that gesture a lot. I never understood it, but at that exact moment, I understood everything - the unsaid words, the apology written on his face, the “please don’t cry,'' that he always used to say when he babysat me. It was better than anything he could ever say to me. So child, you asked what the meaning of Remembrance Day is. It's the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. The celebration of past soldiers - heroes. Men and women who laid down their lives for a better future, a better country, and a peaceful land. Men and women who marched out to war knowing that they might not see home again or see their loved ones ever. Men who lived in trenches for months. We remember the struggle, the risk, the pain, they endured. We remember the honor, glory, and legacy they fought for. That is the meaning, and why we celebrate Remembrance Day. So, whenever it’s Remembrance Day, and you find yourself in the store, work, school or on the road, please wear a poppy, to show your respect for the brave men and women who laid down their lives for the peaceful future you have today. The Letter By: Samantha Twells, Age 16 From: British Columbia, Canada Description: Dorothy receives a letter from the Army stating that her brother, John, died in service during the First World War. Genre: Dramatic This war is never-ending. It seems like it’s dragged on for eternity- like there was never a time before and there will never be a time after. It’s easy enough to pretend that it isn’t happening when you stay at home, when you don’t have anybody close fighting in it. But I can’t do that. My brother John joined the army. I did my best to convince him not to go, but nothing would persuade him. He told me he couldn’t stand around and do nothing while others died for this country, for what’s right. He’s always been courageous like that. Even when we were little, he was willing to stand up for others. He was willing to put himself in danger to help people. I guess some things never change. I received a letter today. From the army. I’m terrified to open it. All I can think about is how he might be… How he might become just another statistic in this horrific war. How I may never be able to see his smile again. [Dorothy opens letter] I pray to God that nothing bad has happened to him, that this is just some standard army procedure. (Reading for a moment) No, no this can’t be true. He promised me he’d come home! There must have been a mistake, they must have delivered this to the wrong person— he can’t be— It’s all my fault! He’s dead because I couldn’t convince him to stay. I— I couldn’t stop him. All of this, it’s all my fault… Al’s Letter By: Hunter Wilson, Age 17 From: Nova Scotia, Canada Description: The letter of a recruit to his mother describing his experience of the battlefield in Belgium during the First World War. Genre: Dramatic Hi Mama, It's been a while since I last corresponded. I’ve been in the field hospital ever since my first month in Belgium. The triage team said I was lucky to live as my condition was too far gone and they didn’t think there was much they could do. The amount of chlorine gas that went in me was very minuscule but was enough to kill me. If I’m being honest, the pain in my throat was too extreme that I almost used my .45 on myself. I had it up to my head, finger on the trigger, ready to go, but I remembered your words; the non-religious preachings you taughtme. Suicide is selfish, my loved ones will miss me, that’s what was running in my head. My throat looks like one of the potatoes you burnt on Thanksgiving years back. I don’t want you thinking that I’m mad at you or that I think this is your fault; I’m thankful for you keeping me alive, mama. But do you remember my farmer friend Gord, that I told you about? He didn’t have the same luck as I did. You remember me telling you that Gord and I enlisted the same day, right? Well, the same day I was poisoned by the chlorine, he was shot in the heart by a Kraut recruit. Damned his luck was, I would’ve taken the bullet for him if it weren’t for the gas ripping me apart from the inside. I know you don’t want me believing in all that voodoo nonsense Aunt Cherie was putting on to us, but the day he enlisted was the last day he was alive himself. We were doing so good here, it wasn’t until I showed up that we started being pushed back. I’m a walking curse, mama. I want to go home. Your Beloved, Al Remembrance Day Monologue By: Noah Vodarek-Berman, Age 15 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A soldier named William Denyes writes home to his mother as he is coming home from World War One in France. Genre: Dramatic November 25th, 1918. Dearest Mother, I am on the boat home to Halifax! I made it back from the front, and in onepiece at that. We showed the krauts what for and drove them back to Brandenburg! We fought long and hard in treacherous conditions, but I won’t ever look back. I know now that joining upwas a good decision, I needed to fight for my country. That’s the good news, the bad news is that almost everyone on the boat is sick. They’re calling it some “Spanish Flu”, but the war was fought in France! Oh well. I just wish my friend Edward was here to see the end of the war,God bless his soul. You remember him, he must’ve visited a hundred times. He always said you liked him more than me. Last month, right before the war ended, Edward seemed to change forthe worse. He couldn’t sleep, eat, or drink without me or someone from our platoon helping him. He had that one-thousand-yard stare that tells you he’s all but gone, though we did our best to help him. In the final days it was clear he had lost it. Early in November his condition had deteriorated. I could do nothing to help him, anything I attempted was useless. In the dead of night, he went over the top of the trench and I never saw him again. I was heartbroken, mybest friend since childhood was gone in what seemed like an instant. I know this is a lot to take in, and I will make sure to go and visit Edward’s folks. Mom, I love you so much and I will write to you again as soon as I land in Halifax. Signed, William Denyes, Lance Corporal of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The Ghost of the Soldier By: Samarveer Gill, Age 10 From: Alberta, Canada Description: A story of Jack, who meets the ghost of Frank the soldier on 11th November, Remembrance Day. Genre: Dramatic “Do you hear me, Jack?” a voice whispered in the cemetery. Jack was too afraid to acknowledge it. He took his morning walks at the Charlton Crematorium Garden and enjoyed the peace. It was the 11th of November “Remembrance Day”. The garden was all quiet except for the strange sound. The voice called him gently, “Don’t be afraid, my boy, I won’t hurt you.” Jack stopped in his tracks and with all his bravery turned to where the echo was coming from. “I am the ghost of private Frank who was killed in the First World War. Do you know how hard we fought for the freedom of this country?” Jack wanted to say something, but no words came out of his mouth. “For six months we were in trenches, till we ended up fighting the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Every single soldier fought with extraordinary bravery and courage for their country. We were all given medals and some of us did not return home alive. I am so proud of what my fellow soldiers did for Canada. I come here every 11th of November to see my land.” Then suddenly the phantom turned towards him. “I want you to promise me something, Jack,” said the shadow. “When your country calls you to defend it from aggression, go do your job with pride.” And with that it was gone. Jack was a little shaken, but he knew what he had to do if his country needed him. Military Memories By: Sagal Hussein, Age 13 From: New Brunswick, Canada Description: A young veteran, mid 30’s is in a therapist’s office asking for a prescription for antidepressants due to the war but shows signs of drug abuse. Genre: Dramatic I remember the first time I saw a poppy. I-it was so beautiful. But I had to keep focus and duck down or I could’ve gotten shot. I still do it. I don’t know how to admire things anymore. It’s like my empathy flew away with the aircraft. And I still get these…um nightmares. I wake up in a cold sweat with a ringing. I look over to my wife and instead see a dead body. It’s…uh beenhappening for a while now. I think almost four months. I can’t really deal with crying from my daughter. I…uh can't control my emotions. I keep yelling at her for making a mess and yes, Iknow she’s only 6 years old but… I don’t know how to say sorry. I didn’t feel things for so long I forgot how. It’s like I can’t relax anymore. My psychiatrist prescribed me some Prozac to helpwith the… uh PTS... whatever. I don’t think it’s really working. The war ended long ago but it’s still happening in my head. BANG! BANG! Every. Single. Day. I-I just want it to stop. I think I need something stronger like Zoloft or something. Doc. Listen to me. You have to help me. I-I wanna be able t-to walk my kid to school without being scared. I wanna trust my wife en-n-enough to sleep in the same bed as her. I don’t wanna jump every time my goddamn dog barks. For the Future By: Saif Babar, Age 16 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A soldier's ghost is given a chance to look upon the success of his, and his comrades' efforts. He glosses his final day and his aspirations for the future. Sharing his story with the one person whose attention he has. Genre: Dramatic Am I alive? Where am I? Did we win? What is this…this silence? Where… where are thegunshots? No cries of the dead? Oh... It’s over. Hey! Wait... You… You can see me?I’m Samuel. Samuel Peter. 5th Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles, honest, brave, andpatriotic soldier. Well, I was…. Before that day. I once walked this street, you know. Uniform untouched, unarmed, and without the weight of the dead on my shoulders. My company hadonce entrusted me with their lives. I was known for my aims. For my perseverance. Yet I still managed to catch a bullet. It claimed my life. I claimed the right of everlasting silence. I amhowever quite delighted. To have been alive at a time when I fought for the freedom of my people. What was it like you may ask? My final hours? It was an exceptionally bleak day. Welost many but giving up was not part of the job. Just me and a couple of my mates left, and in a matter of minutes, one by one, we lost the thrill of life. Seeing these flowers bloom without the cover of smoke, it’s reassuring. As though I were still alive. I am grateful for this chance toglance at what life can be without war. To see the success of those who gave themselves to thecause. Of peace. Of love. Of freedom. My wish is that we learn from the true terror that we canbring to each other. At least I can rest assured that I have someone who knows. To inspirepeace and move ahead. Without ever having to look back to our horrific times, to be able tocome together as one for the sake of our world I wish for a place where all, may rest in peace. It seems as though it’s my time to hit the rails. To the other side of course. Thanks for lending an ear to this old man. By chance, we may meet again. Goodbye……. Ghost of a Memory By: Cydney Stanislow, Age 11 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A ghost of a soldier goes through his old haunting memories.Genre: Dramatic I was never truly there. People couldn’t see me, but I could see them. I am the soul of Tommy Hadwin. I am nowhere near to death nor am I alive. Every day I go through my worst memories, starting with goodbye. I always hear the haunting train whistle. I kiss my wifegoodbye and hug her, hating that eventually I’ll have to let go. I look down at my son. I pick him up and tassel his hair. ‘Son, I will come back’ I tell him. His eyes are teary, ‘Promise?’ ‘Promise’ I tell him, and I set him back down. The train whistle blows again, and I get on it.That’s the last I see of my son or my wife. Next thing I know I’m carried off by the wind like a leaf in fall, into the next memory. I am in battle, fighting. I have my dog in front of me. He issniffing out bombs. I named him Soldier. When we were attacked by the other side, they shot him I felt sad in the eyes. He had always been with me. The next thing I know the soldiers imprison me and try to get any information they can. I keep quiet dealing with the pain. Finally, I escape, and I walk for days. Until I’m found. I try to fight, but I’m so weak. That’s how I died. The wind comes again, and I see my wife and my son at the funeral. It brings tears to my eyes. My son is crying into my wife as she strokes his hair trying to be brave, but she’s cryingtoo. That’s all I see of that memory, and then again, I am blown back to the train station where these memories repeated on a haunting cycle. Forgotten Days By: Kylie Siew, Age 14 From: Toronto, Canada Description: A soldier thanks a special friend of the day he once shared alone. Genre: Dramatic In Flanders Fields the poppies grew Until the day my eyes lay upon you Your plastic shrines and wreaths of honour Decorate our graves in sun and shower Every year on November 11th I see the crosses of fallen brethren As family and friend gathered ‘round They ignored my place within the ground For I had no wife or child My grave lay empty, cold, and wild Only the poppies came back every year Until you came along, my dear Now every year in Flanders Field I do not share this day alone Remembrance Day By: Jennifer Dolson, Age 15 From: Ontario, Canada Description: A war veteran shares his memories of war and encourages the next generation toRemember and learn from that experience. Genre: Dramatic Remembrance Day you ask? Well, I was a boy about your age now, not quite old enough to be off on my own, and definitely not mature enough to see the unspeakable horrors of war. But Idid, like every boy my age. We fought for our family and country alike. I was one of the lucky ones, many of my fellow comrades were not. The conditions were ghastly, we rarely saw a dry day or night, always covered in mud, and ached right through to our bones. What I would havegiven for a warm pair of dry socks. The nights turned into days, and the days turned into nights. Sleep was a distant memory. So, you see young lad, Remembrance Day is somethingwe should all recognize. It is a day to be thankful for the freedom we enjoy now, a day to remember the fallen soldiers, that fought so bravely for our freedom. A day my boy, to guide usdown the right path, to avoid repeating history.