Peter Walsh photo/Telegraph Journal

Remembrance Hallway at Saint John High School named after Pte. David Greenslade

by SANDRA DAVIS - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This article is courtesy of Telegraph-Journal

SAINT JOHN - Outside the main office of Saint John High School, above a door-frame in the hall, a plaque dedicated to the memory of Pte. David Greenslade has been installed as a poignant reminder of his ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

It's just a wonderful way to remember David," said his mother, Laurie Greenslade shortly after climbing a ladder to place the plaque.

"He enjoyed his years spent at Saint John High and he'd love that he had a hallway named in his memory."

On Tuesday, during Saint John High School's service of remembrance, Laurie Greenslade told the hushed, packed gymnasium full of students that her son loved life and, aptly, the song Time of your Life by Green Day was his favourite.

"I would ask that you wear red on Fridays to support the troops and their families, not to support war," she said.

Just 20 years old, Greenslade and five other soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Easter Sunday, 2007, after a roadside bomb tore apart their armoured vehicle. Greenslade was asleep in the back.

The school's concert choir performed Allister MacGillivray's Away from the Roll of the Sea in memory of Greenslade, and the plaque in memory of him was dedicated by people such as Debbie Thomas, high school supervisor with School District 8, and Laurie and Don Greenslade.

The students' remembrance ceremony included a moving video tribute to 172 Saint John High School students who have died at war. Some had left school before graduation to serve.

The video titled Saint John High School Remembers, was researched by classes in Canadian and European history.

Among the fallen students were Anna Stamers, one of 14 nursing sisters who died with the sinking of a marked medical ship, the Llandovery Castle, on June 27, 1918.

The ship was returning to Britain after successfully delivering 644 military patients to port in Halifax, and had on board, seven officers, 14 nursing sisters, and 76 other ranks.

There was Charles Lawson, a teacher who was killed at Ypres in 1915; Douglas Murdoch, Francis Cotter and, of course, David Greenslade.

Thomas told the students that freedom was important to Greenslade. "So important that he tried to re-create it for others."

Student Nicole Johnston, who served as mistress of ceremonies, told the students that, during remembrance services, some remember family members, while others pay tribute to heroes they have never met.

"Many just ask 'why'?" she said.

"We must not disconnect from the past. We must always remember."