Service through art

February 8, 2023 | Focus On Education | Volume 27 Issue 3
Menno Simons Christian School
Calgary, Alta.
This poster by Eugena Lee won a national Remembrance Day contest. (Photo courtesy of MCI)

Menno Simons Christian School is proud of alumna Eugena Lee (‘20) who won first-place in the National Remembrance Day Poster contest held by the Legion National Foundation. After studying the Korean War in her high school social class, she became inspired to learn more about her grandparents’ experiences during the Korean war. Then artistic inspiration took hold.

After labouring 150 hours in the summer of 2021, she completed her painting. It depicts the expression of gratitude crossing barriers of age and language in the hug of a Korean woman and a Canadian veteran who fought in the Korean War.

“In May of this year, I received a letter notifying me that I had won first prize in the Senior Colour Poster category at the national level,” Lee said. “A month later, as a result of winning first place, I was invited to Ottawa to represent Canada’s youth at the National Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11th.”

There, Lee laid a wreath as a member of the Vice Regal Party, which included the Governor General, the National Silver Cross Mother, the Prime Minister, the Chief of Defense Staff and the Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“During my school Remembrance Liturgy on November 8th,” Lee said, “a veteran and a member of the local legion presented my school with a plaque acknowledging my achievement. I received my individual plaque with a scholarship at the Silver Cross Mother’s luncheon in the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa on November 10th. My poster will be displayed at the entrance of the National War Museum for one year.”

While in Ottawa, Lee visited the Senate Chamber, House of Commons and the National War Museum. “I got to meet and talk with many important people in Canada,” she said. Lee sat next to Governor General Mary Simon at a luncheon. “It was a great opportunity for me to talk about my artwork and future as a young Calgarian,” Lee said.

She said the project was meaningful to her because it “represented the sacrifices of hundreds of Canadian soldiers who fought for keeping peace in South Korea, and the everlasting impact they made on South Korean people’s lives,” including those of her grandparents.

She also learned she could serve her community through art. “While I was in Ottawa, I witnessed how my artwork can comfort and connect people,” Lee said. “It made me aspire to help people who are in pain emotionally and mentally through art.” 

This poster by Eugena Lee won a national Remembrance Day contest. (Photo courtesy of MCI)

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