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Defence minister visits John Oliver Secondary

Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan joined students and staff at John Oliver Secondary for their remembrance ceremony.

Sajjan, who was decorated for his service in Afghanistan, talked to the students about courage and the meaning of remembrance.

The MP for Vancouver South, a former student of David Thompson and Sir Charles Tupper secondary schools, said: "Courage is not just about standing up and charging with a rifle, it's about whether you have the courage to stand up for what is right."

Preventing bullying was one example of standing up for what is right, he said. Another example was Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai's efforts to promote education for women despite the threat to her life.

Principal Pedro Dasilva told students to become educated voters because using their vote would honour those that gave their lives for democratic society.

Students played a prominent role in the ceremony through music, poetry and drama performances about remembrance.

Student council president Sukhtaj Khakh said the minister's speech was impressive.

"I think we should listen to his words and hear about his experiences in the military," said the Grade 12 student. "We shouldn't just sit and remember, we should be exercising our rights. People sacrificed their lives so we can have a safe and secure country."

Click on the image below to visit Flickr Album.John Oliver Secondary Remembrance 2016

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