‘I’m just proud’: Kelowna teens forge new connection with WWII

It happened 60 or more years before they were born, but a group of 115 Kelowna teenagers has a new found appreciation for the sacrifices of soldiers from the past.

The Okanagan Mission Secondary School senior band’s project blends history with the students’ own family heritage.

The musical piece is called ‘Regrowth’; the 12-minute show pairs the band with a video montage of footage from World War II along with images of family members who fought (many who lost their lives) in the war.

A group of 78 went to the Netherlands in March to see the place they’d been learning about first hand and it’s a history lesson they won’t soon forget.

“When you’re actually at the grave sites, you feel an emotional connection to it,” student Kristian Oppenheim said. “Some of them were only a few years older than I was and they’re doing these amazing things to help the world and my family was a part of this.”

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The students performed the piece overseas and will be hitting the stage again in Kelowna on April 25 for family at Okanagan Mission Secondary.

The video along with in-depth write-ups on the featured veterans will then be donated to the Okanagan Military Museum, so Canada’s war hero stories, told generations later, will continue to live on.