A Grande Prairie student has won a national award from the Royal Canadian Legion for his poem about Remembrance Day.
Grade 7 Grande Prairie Christian School student Kieran Watson was named the winner of the dominion award, in the Intermediate Poem category, for a piece of literature that president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 Brad Lewis called a tear jerker.
“Having Kieran win this award means a great deal to the many veterans in our city,” Lewis adds.
Watson says he was inspired to write the poem to show respect to his uncle and great-grandfather, who served in Afghanistan and World War II respectively. As the first ever winner of the national award from the competition, Watson says he was frozen in shock when he got the news from his family.
“This was the first time I had ever won a contest that meant so much for me and my parents. It is an extra special feeling that I’ll carry
with me forever,” he adds.
Watson’s poem won first at the District Level (Branch 54), Command Level (Provincial), and Dominion Level.
The yearly creative arts contest is run by the Royal Canadian Legion, with participating school divisions across Canada. Below is the award winning poem in its entirety.
The Long Watch, by Kieran Watson
I have bled from Flanders to Panjwaii
Fought across the trench of time
I’ve defeated the evil of tyrant’s
That had no reason or rhyme
I’ve marched to the call of colours
I’ve marched to the sound of the guns
Over the beaches and into the caves
For the peace of our daughters and sons
I am no hero or statue or marker
Yet I am more than flesh or bone
I am every free breath a baby takes
And every free thought you’ve known
So if you value your rights and freedoms
If you hate evil’s chains
If you think the future is worth the cost
And that life is worth the pain
Let justice be your lantern
Liberty will be your guide
It does not take a sword or gun
To stand bravely by my side
I am a Canadian Soldier
And I will stand on guard for you
Until all things are set right again
And my long nights watch is through