SKSS REMEMBRANCE DAY 2011
PROJECTION: World War I
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER:
I was the consequence of a system of alliances, sparked by a single assassination that lit the world on fire. I was the first: “The Great War.” I had the blood of 15 million lives on my hands.
Enlisting, conscription, training, into trench scene...
TRENCH SCENES: JACOB, AARON M, BLAINE
SOLDIER VOICE OVER: The food in the trenched was horrible. The rations were always cold and never satisfying. (Boys slowly eating from tin cans)
SOLDIER VOICE OVER:
Sleep was almost impossible. When you did fall asleep, you were constantly awoken by the cold, the rain, or the sound of gunfire. (Aaron and Blaine sleeping against each other’s shoulders while Jacob shivers wide awake.)
SOLDIER VOICE OVER:
June 23: the day that changed my life forever. I couldn’t take it anymore. The madness. The horrors of trench life. I had to get out... (Jacob stands and goes over the side of the trench. Aaron and Blaine shout at him to stop, but he doesn’t and is shot. Blaine goes over to retrieve Jacob, and Aaron follows him. Aaron is the first to be shot, and gestures for Blaine to keep going. Just as Blaine gets Jacob back into the trench, Blaine is shot.)
JACOB (in wheelchair): That day, two brave men died to protect me, to save me. Was my life worth both of theirs? Was I worth what I caused? This is the guilt I live with every day.
PROJECTION: World War II
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: The first “Great War” left remaining tensions behind which sparked myfury once again. The rise to power of my greatest ally lead to the deadliest military conflict in history. This time, I took 60 million lives. The memory of my hatred and hostility live on to this day. They refer to me now as the “darkest event in human history.” They call me “the Holocaust.”
PROJECTION: The Holocaust
PROJECTIONS: Images to support descriptions
In 1933, the Nazi party, under the charismatic leadership of Adolph Hitler, takes power in Germany.
The Nazis set up the first concentration camp at Dachau. The first inmates are 200 Communists.
By 1934, Jewish newspapers can no longer be sold in the streets.
By 1935, Jews are deprived of their citizenship and other basic rights.
In 1936, Nazis boycott Jewish-owned businesses.
Jews no longer have the right to vote.
On the night of November 9, 1938, Joseph Goebbels gave the signal and, throughout the reich, Jewish synagogues, cemeteries, hospital, schools, businesses, and homes are looted, wrecked, and set aflame.
Kristallnacht, known as “the night of broken glass,” ends the illusion that anything resembling normal Jewish life is still possible.
Jews must carry ID cards, and Jewish passports are marked with a “J.”
Jews must hand over drivers’ licenses and car registrations.
In 1939, Germany invades Poland and World War II begins.
Hitler orders that Jews must follow curfews and wear yellow stars of David.
In 1940, Jews are forced to live in ghettos.
The Nazis begin deporting German Jews to Poland.
TRAIN SCENE 1 (Nazis confiscate Jewish belongings)
Jews are put into concentration camps, and the first mass murders begin in Poland.
TRAIN SCENE 2 (Disembarking and separation from loved ones.)
PROJECTION: “Canada” from The Holocaust Chronicle
PROJECTIONS: Piles of Jewish belongings
MARISSA VOICE OVER (to allow actors time to get around to top of house) While their victims perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazis plundered the personal belongings of the dead. In a special section of the Birkenau camp, work details of mainly Jewish women sorted the collected items. This part of the camp was known as “Canada,” named after a country known for its riches and abundance. Day- and night-shift prisoners systematically sorted and classified clothing, luggage, blankets, utensils, valuables and food. Some prisoners sorted shoes, some only men’s clothing. They separated suitcases, blankets, and even baby carriages, and tossed them into huge piles. Eager to find money and jewellery, the SS ordered prisoners to squeeze toothpaste into buckets in their search for hidden diamonds. Even such personal items as hair ribbons, watches, eyeglasses, and dentures were collected. Sorted items were loaded onto trains and trucks and hauled away. When the approach of the allied liberation forces caused them to flee the camp, the Nazis left behind 349,820 men’s suits, 836,255 women’s outfits, and approximately 38,000 pairs of men’s shoes.
In 1942, Nazi officials discuss the “Final Solution” - their plan to exterminate all European Jews.
In 1943, Hitler takes over Hungary and begins deporting12,000 Hungarian Jews each day to Auschwitz.
DAN’S MONOLOGUE If you were sent to a concentration camp, it was almost certain that you were going to die. If you weren’t shot upon arrival, you were put into hard labour. If you didn’t starve, they would beat you. If you weren’t beaten, they would literally walk you to death. If you fell behind or stepped out of line, you were punished or shot. You would walk until you died, and if that didn’t work, there was always the gas chamber.
DEATH MARCH SCENE
GAS CHAMBER MOVEMENT SCENE
By February of 1943, about 80 to 85% of the 11 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and collaborators who would die in the Holocaust have already been murdered.
PROJECTION: Mass grave, or pile of dead bodies
FAMILY TREE SCENE
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: Korea, the Land of the Morning Calm, became the battleground for my ideological civil war. As United Nations participants on the side of freedom in this “forgotten war,” Canada suffered 1,558 casualties, including 516 who died.
PROJECTION: “ A Small Pain in My Chest” by Michael Mack
SCRIM SCENE WITH ALEX M. AND LIAM VOICE OVER OF POEM
A wounded soldier was sitting calmly underneath a tree.
As I approached it, I could see him beckoning to me.
“I wonder if you’d help me, sir,” he smiled as best he could.
"A sip of water on this morn would surely do me good.
We fought all day and fought all night with scarcely any rest -
A sip of water for I have a small pain in my chest.”
As I looked at him, I could see the large stain on his shirt
All reddish-brown from his warm blood mixed with Korean dirt.
“Must be fatigue,” he weakly smiled. “I must be getting old.
I see the sun is shining bright and yet I’m feeling cold.
Can it be getting dark so soon?” He winced up at the sun.
“It’s growing dim and I thought that the day had just begun.
I think before I travel on, I’ll get a little rest....”
And quietly the soldier died from that small pain in his chest.
I don’t recall what happened then. I think I must have cried;
I put my arms around him and I pulled him to my side
And, as I held him to me, I could feel our wounds were pressed
The large one in my heart against the small one in his chest.
PROJECTION: The Peacekeeping Missions
PROJECTIONS: Images of genocide
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: The world did not learn the lessons of the holocaust, and genocide occurred again. And again. Hatred and fear are powerful motivators for the evil within humans. The limitations, ignorantly and intentionally imposed on the peacekeepers, prevented them from stopping my brutal mass killings. They could do little but stand by and witness my destruction.
CICY VOICE OVER: I’d been hiding there for days, amongst the brutalized corpses of the people of my village. I was too scared to move in case they came back.
I had seen my entire family murdered in the ambush. My mother’s last words to me were, “don’t let them find you.”
JULIAN VOICE OVER: I’ll never forget what I saw. How could one human being do such things to another? I didn’t expect there would be survivors. I didn’t believe anyone could have survived. And then I saw her eyes open.
SCENE WITH DEAD BODIES
SCENE WITH DOCTOR
CICY VOICE OVER: The peacekeepers brought me to medical help in the safety of a refugee camp.
JULIAN VOICE OVER: The doctors told me that she was very lucky to be alive. She was suffering from malnutrition, and all her wounds were infected from her exposure to the decomposition of the dead.
CICY VOICE OVER: I would sometimes wake up and find him at my bedside. He came to see me whenever he could. I will always be grateful to him because he saved my life. Because he truly cared, I can still believe there is good in people.
PROJECTION: Image of Canadian soldier with Afghan child
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: My actions on September 11, 2001 changed the world. I ended its complacency, and stole the peace. While the military response has brought about new freedoms to a people who have long lived under my threat, can this liberation, this protection, last? And at what cost?
MILESTONE SCENES: graduation, wedding, child birth, visiting father’s grave
EMPTY CHAIR SILOUETTE SCENES
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: In their desperation, some families entrusted their children to complete strangers, just to ensure their escape from my deadly fate.
MOTHER’S SACRIFICE: SHANNON, CHI CHI, KATE, AARON S. MARISSA, AARON M.
SHANNON I survived because of my mother’s sacrifice.
(Chi Chi enters and takes Shannon by the handand, leading her downstage toward the family who is fleeing the conflict.)
SHANNON No mommy! I don’t want to go!
CHI CHI You’re not safe here. You have to go. You have to leave.
(Chi Chi takes Shannon to Kate)
CHI CHI Please. Please. Take my girl. Please, take her with you. She’s not safe here. Please take her. You have to take her with you. (to Shannon) Go! You
must go with them!
SHANNON No, mommy!
CHI CHI You must go!
(Kate and family take Shannon offstage with them as Chi Chi cries.)
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: Many of those who lived through my battlefields try to endure their memories. Their internal conflict is as painful as any physical wound.
(Alex B. finds a note on the chair and begins to read it, breaking down at the end.)
SOLDIER VOICE OVER: I can’t forget the eyes. I’ll never be able to accept the things the war made me do. I saw the realization on his face...in his eyes.
It was like he was asking me...why? I left a boy without a father, and a woman without her husband. Every time I look at you, I think of...them. It doesn’t feel like I killed an enemy. I killed a man. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: There was a time when I was called “the cold war.” Just the thought of my nuclear consequences kept the population in a state of fear.
BOMB SHELTER: CALEIGH, KELSEY, ANYA, AMIE
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: Sometimes I will return a soldier safely to his home, but have still succeeded in stealing him from his family.
PTSD SCENE: ALEX M., JOELLE, JOEY
WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: And sometimes, there is no return.
THE DEAD SOLDIER
CURTIS: It took me seven minutes to die. I heard the sounds of the people around me. I heard them say there was nothing they could do. I smelled my own blood pooling under my head. I felt the cold of the water in my boots. And then the pain stopped. I saw my son’s smiling face. I felt my daughter’s arms around me. I heard my wife’s soothing voice. And then...nothing.
FINAL WAR PERSONIFIED VOICE OVER: I have left many empty chairs behind, but yours is filled. How will you remember? What will you remember? Will you remember?
PROJECTION: LEST WE FORGET
“Last Post” and “Reveille”