Jay Best started going to Remembrance Day ceremonies from a very early age and continued the tradition throughout his stellar 27-year career in the Canadian military.
He was well aware of the sacrifices made by our military personnel, but everything changed for him the first time a friend was killed in Afghanistan.
From then on, Remembrance Day took on a more personal meaning, and each year, he takes time at the end of the day to remember his friends who are no longer with us.
After he retired from the military, Best took Georgian’s Human Resources Management graduate certificate program and is currently working as an HR assistant on co-op with Human Resources and Organizational Development.
He was chosen to co-ordinate the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Barrie Campus this year, which was held in partnership with Canadian Forces Base Borden.
“Remembrance Day is the one day a year where we should take time to remind ourselves why we enjoy the freedoms we have and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for those freedoms,” he said.
Hundreds of students, staff, faculty, members of the Board of Governors and members of Canadian Forces Base Borden gathered at the Cenotaph to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
At the end of the poignant ceremony, after the laying of the wreaths, a blessing by Father Capt. McGee, the Canadian anthem, and the marching off of the Honour Guard and Vigil Party, it was clear that Best met his goal of creating a dignified service to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as recognize current and former military members that are employees and students at Georgian.
“I think it was an awesome event,” said Best. “Everybody hit their marks and followed their cues. I was only one cog in the machine that made everything happen as planned. Without help, the ceremony would have had a very different outcome.”