On Saturday, Sept, 24, the day of the annual Canadian Walk for Veterans, Langley’s Charlie Farquharson was explaining how he came to create a second song in honour of Canada’s veterans, an important part of history he thinks deserves more attention than it gets for the younger generation of Canadians.
“I feel a lot of youth today don’t take it seriously,” the 17-year-old Brookswood Secondary student remarked.
Kids can see it as time off from classes, or time spent in school assemblies, Farquharson believes, with some evidence to support that view.
“I used to be that kid,” Farquharson told the Langley Advance Times.
What changed for him, was a visit to his school by a veteran, who talked about having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the impact of going to war that lingers with the soldiers who been deployed.
“When your service ends, you don’t go back to your pre-service mind,” Farquharson summarized.
His first song was for a school project last year.
After hearing it, organizers of the annual veterans walk asked him if he would create something new, specific for the walk.
While Farquharson’s first song told the story of a soldier who died in combat, organizers asked if he could craft one about the soldiers who survived, like the man who spoke at his school.
“I felt really honoured,” Farquharson said.
His new song tells the story of a man who is sent off to war, and how, when he comes home, he has been charged forever.
“They protected our soil, put their lives in harms way, even if they make it back, we know they’ll never be the same,” Farquharson sings as the chorus.
This year, the Canadian Walk for Veterans returned as an in-person event in 11 cities.
In B.C., walks were held in White Rock, Abbotsford, and Kamloops, while in the rest of the country, people walked in Edmonton, Sylvan Lake, Calgary, Prince Albert, Kingston, Phillipsburg, and Halifax.
This year, organizers were bringing attention to the interpreters, translators, project managers, and cultural advisors who have put their lives at risk to support Canadian missions around the world, some of whom have ended up kidnapped, tortured, killed as traitors, or prosecuted as spies.
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