A documentary program has expanded to share the stories of Saskatchewan veterans in classrooms across Canadian.
First airing on Global TV in 2001, the Canada Remembers series includes interviews with roughly 200 veterans, including about 160 from Saskatchewan.
The stories use the province’s Canada Remembers Air Show as a backdrop, delivering firsthand accounts of veterans of the Second World War, Korean War and Afghanistan, along with NATO and peacekeeping missions.
“Teachers from different parts of Canada obviously saw the show on television and asked us ‘how can we get a hold of a copy of that particular show?’” explained Brian Swidrovich, volunteer director of the Canada Remembers air show.
With the endorsement of the Royal Canadian Legions’s Poppy and Remembrance Committee, 2018 marks the first time the legion has made the programming available to schools Canada-wide.
Roughly 220 schools in Saskatchewan incorporate the videos into the curriculum. The documentaries are played in 400 to 500 classrooms across the country.
The series creators have also assembled an 86-page educational guide.
“I think for any young folks now, when they see the pictures and the images, it’s on a scale that they can’t even imagine,” said Anthony Towstego, president of Thomega Entertainment, which produced the documentaries.
After viewing the pieces, Towstego said, students develop a greater appreciation for veterans.
“They’re not just wearing a blue blazer. They’re actually pure heroes,” he said.
Schools looking to access the Canada Remembers series should contact their local legion.