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‘It has to get passed on what war is about’: Mallorytown elementary school students remember

WATCH: Elementary students joined Royal Canadian Legion members as well as dignitaries for Mallorytown remembrance.

The first Friday before Remembrance Day is a very special time for some Mallorytown, Ont. residents.

Elementary students joined Royal Canadian Legion members as well as dignitaries at a memorial on County Road 5, just north of the village. There, children learned about local soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Students from Front of Yonge Elementary School placed Canadian flags at each of the 19 crosses along this roadside memorial. Nancee Payne is the mother of Cpl. Randy Payne, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.

READ MORE: Military service members, veterans to get free access to Ontario parks starting Remembrance Day

She says events like this one are very important.

“That’s our up-and-coming generation, and if they don’t know what happened, then it’s not going to get passed on,” Payne said.

“It has to get passed on what war is about.”

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Cataraqui Cemetery tradition continues as veterans are honoured with flags at their grave sites
Cataraqui Cemetery tradition continues as veterans are honoured with flags at their grave sites

Despite the cold, nearly 40 people turned out for the event. The majority of them were students at the school in grades two through six.

Sadie McConaghy, a grade five student, was one of them.

“Being here today just felt like a relief to know that these people helped us get to where we are today,” McConaghy said.

READ MORE: Ontario’s memorial to veterans of Afghanistan war ready for Remembrance Day next year

Jennifer Moore, principal at Front of Yonge Elementary School, alsp appreciates the value of this kind of remembrance.

“We have a wonderful community partnership with the legion, but days like today really put into perspective what the legion is all about,” Moore said.

75th anniversary of the Battle of Verrières Ridge
75th anniversary of the Battle of Verrières Ridge

Friday’s ceremony marked the 20th annual roadside remembrance service.