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In the weeks before Remembrance Day, a group of École Salish
Secondary students enlisted the help of classmates to write 50 postcards to
mail to veterans in Surrey.
Hold High the
Torch, a student group whose goal is to remember our fallen, honour our
veterans and support the troops, prepared postcards for eight Second World
War and Korean War veterans who live in Surrey in recognition of their service
to Canada. In previous years, the group distributed postcards through local
Legions, but this year mailed them, as COVID-19 has caused some
Legions to close or have reduced hours.
“All of these veterans have some connection with Hold High
the Torch, and some of them have regular phone conversations with myself or
other members to maintain that relationship with them,” said group founder Joon
Sohn. “Honoring veterans isn’t just done one day or one season of the year, we
wanted to do something that’s done all the time, and that’s one of the ways we
While the group would normally run a booth in the cafeteria
for students to write postcards, or present to other classes or schools,
members instead presented to two classes within their cohorts and gathered
postcards from fellow students.
“The entire objective of Hold High the Torch is to connect
veterans with newer generations,” said Grade 12 student Nastasja Ador. “It’s
important to have these messages to create a connection with our students and
“We’ve already made a lot of phone calls this year to check
up on them and they’ve been really happy about it,” added classmate Aryan
Verma. “They appreciate us calling and that makes us feel good too, it’s nice
to know that we’re keeping them company.”
The group said they hope initiatives like this will motivate
other students to reach out to veterans and continue building that connection
between students and soldiers.
“It helps us maintain that connection, to have that
appreciation and be thankful for their sacrifice and honouring them,” said
“For me personally, as a Korean-Canadian, a lot of Korean
soldiers fought in the Korean War, and I’m indebted to their sacrifice for what
they’ve done,” said Sohn. “It’s why I’m here today, why my family’s here today,
why so many people around the world have liberty, freedom, opportunity and prosperity.
That’s a huge part of why we are inspired.”