Legion president inspires youth to remember veterans

Earlier this year, some high school students showed Toronto Legionnaires they can remember veterans. Along the way, their art touched branch president, Debbie Moore.

“I was blown away by the artwork. I could not believe how much time and effort they put into it,” Moore said.

The art students, from Wexford Collegiate in Toronto, worked for six months on murals of the veterans of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 617. The paintings showcased the veterans both young and old. Some of the detailed paintings depicted the veterans who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Moore was touched.

“The legion is important,” Moore said. “The main reason is to educate the youth about why Remembrance Day exists and what (others) can do to keep remembering the men and women who fought for the freedom they have today. If we don’t teach them, then we have not done our job.”

For Debbie Moore, Remembrance Day provokes a deep, personal attachment. Surrounded by navy stories told by her father while growing up, Moore found herself learning the importance of serving and protecting her country, a lesson she has not forgotten.

“My father served in the navy,” Moore said. “So from an early age I had an understanding of what Remembrance Day was all about. I learned so much so quickly.”

Moore became involved in the Royal Canadian Legion 10 years ago and is now serving her fourth consecutive term as president at Branch 617 Dambusters.

Becoming apart of the Legion has changed Moore’s life in many ways, but it’s her passion and dedication to the memory of her father that showcases the true meaning behind Remembrance Day. She will never forget what was given to her and asks that everyone be thankful for the freedom they have received.

“I want the younger generation never to forget what a veteran has gone through to live free in this country,” Moore said.