Thanks, Sacrifice, Remember
Five years ago members of the Toronto Marlboros Executive team, including Jim Nicoletti, Michael Chraba and Alan Findlay travelled to Ottawa to support the Peewee team in the OHF Provincial Finals. While in the nation’s capital, Jim and Alan took time to visit the Canadian War Museum. Not only were they amazed at the enormity of the building and the historic displays, they were overwhelmed by the sacrifices that Canadian soldiers and their families had made for their country.
As a result of this experience, the Toronto Marlboros Executive immediately created an opportunity for their players to learn a great deal more about Remembrance Day. Specifically, they constructed presentations for each team with the focus on why ‘we’ need to be thankful and grateful for the sacrifices made by so many brave Canadians.
The first seminars were held in 2014 and highlighted Canada’s contribution to World War I, specific military battles, peacekeeping missions, and the history behind the poppy. At the end of each session, players were presented with a camouflage hockey sweater featuring the Marlboro logo and a poppy. In 2015 and 2016, the players received a camouflage hat and a camouflage toque respectively.
This year’s seminar focussed on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The importance of the battle for Canada according to General Ross was “after the battle, he had witnessed the birth of a nation” … 3,600 brave Canadians died in this battle and 7,000 were injured. At the conclusion of the seminar, a camouflage hoodie was presented to every player to be worn as proud Canadian athletes.
Many coaches and family members added to the presentations by lamenting their own experiences, such as a great grandfather who had fought in World War 1 or a personal visit by a family member to Flanders Field or the Vimy Monument.
On Remembrance Day, our hope is that our players REMEMBER to give THANKS to the soldiers and their families who SACRIFICED so much.