Carolyn Millard has a lifetime of stories to remember her dad, many from his time as a submarine detector with the Canadian forces during the Second World War.

Speaking at the Haliburton Legion’s youth awards night April 26, Millard said her father, Jim, was one of the thousands to enlist with the Royal Canadian Navy volunteer reserve after war broke out in Europe in 1939. He documented his service in a series of memoirs that Millard still reads today.

“Accounts of the heroic acts of bravery of the men and women who served are plentiful, however, records written by youth telling their versions of growing up in war times are few in comparison,” Millard said, noting how people today would have a better idea of how children felt during the war effort.

“Although we may try to imagine it, children and youth lived through times during the wars that few of us can relate to,” she added.

With ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, Millard noted war is still rife. That’s why she feels it’s important for youth to embrace history and participate in these contests.

The tradition has been running for more than 20 years, with the legion encouraging students from Stuart Baker and J.D. Hodgson elementary schools and Haliburton Highlands Secondary School to honour the sacrifices of Canadian veterans through personalized works.

There were 61 submissions this year. Evelyn Vanderstarre won first place in the senior poem contest for Grades 10 to 12, with her submission also placing second in the zone competition. Mazey Robinson won the intermediate contest, for children in Grades 7, 8 and 9, with Valla Berry placing first in the junior category, covering Grades 4 to 6.

Brody Bolger won the local senior essay contest, with his piece also finishing first at zone and second at district. Annika Gervais won the intermediate award.

There were a lot of submissions for the colour photo contest, Millard said. Annabelle Borgdorff won the senior category, also placing second at zone; Alivia Brown won at the intermediate level, also placing second at zone; Jaime Holwell came tops among junior submissions, placing third at zone; and Eden Kuepfer won the primary competition, for Grades 1 to 3, also placing third at zone.

The black and white poster contest saw Jax Bradley win the local senior competition and place second at zone; Claire Lynch win at intermediate; Grace Wilson placing first in junior; and Pearl Mansfield winning primary and zone, while placing third at district.

Waller said it was a great night, with more than 50 people attending.

“It’s fantastic that so many young people are taking the time to do this – the veterans appreciate it so much seeing what they’ve done, the kids showing they still care. It’s a great thing,” Waller said. “I always say, if it wasn’t for what our veterans did, and are still doing now, we wouldn’t have the life we all do today. It’s important to recognize their sacrifices.”