AMHERST – A local cadet recently returned to Amherst after a trip to Ottawa for the Encounters with Canada, Canada Remembers program. Cadet Brandon Sutherland-Metz had the chance to learn first hand some of the experiences Canada soldiers went through while serving their country.
“We got to check out certain monuments, all the things in Ottawa that is, symbolically, a lot more than there is here,” he said. “It was a lot different that anything I’ve ever done.”
The young cadet said it was a great experience. He said he learned a lot more about Canadian military history from veterans who were there.
“I know more about the battles, what they went through, what they had to do,” he said.
Sutherland-Metz also met a veteran who experienced first hand the effects of war when he was only a small child.
“I met a veteran who was only a child during the Second World War,” said Sutherland-Metz. “He was walking back to his house and it came under fire from one of the German tankers. His house was blown up and he lost his mother in the explosion.”
Sutherland-Metz also said they were able to sit down and have the same kind of meals that the soldiers would have eaten while out fighting including pea soup and bread pudding.
With the recent trip under his belt, Sutherland-Metz returned with a new understand and better appreciation of what the Canadian military has been apart of.
“I knew that they did extremes but the total extremes, like what they had to go through just to survive from day-to-day, living in a trench, looking up being able to hear the enemy was pretty difficult.
“I think (younger people) need to understand a little bit more that it’s not just going to war and killing people, it’s more than that,” he said. “It has a toll mentally, and physically, one of the most demanding things you could probably do. Remembrance Day shouldn’t be just a day, we should have respect all year long.”