APEGA Remembers: APEGA connection honours Canadian veterans with her literary grace | APEGA

APEGA Remembers: APEGA connection honours Canadian veterans with her literary grace

Sadie Vogel and the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Sadie Vogel (right) meets her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, at the Pinning of the First Poppy Ceremony on October 20, 2018.

“Remembering our past is a big part of our future,” wrote 16-year-old Sadie Vogel as she reflected on the thousands of lives sacrificed for Canadian freedom. This is an excerpt from Sadie’s powerful essay submitted to the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2018 Poster and Literary Contest. Her wise words earned her first place in the senior category, and she received numerous invitations to Remembrance Day events, including the National Remembrance Day Celebration in Ottawa.

The APEGA connection to this young woman is through her father, APEGA employee Paul Vogel. Paul and his wife, Penny, admire Sadie’s emotional awareness of such an important day, saying, “We are extremely proud that Sadie has learned to recognize the historical sacrifices made by Canada’s veterans and can reflect on how Canadian men and women continue to serve around the world. It has been an honour to meet veterans and dignitaries because of Sadie’s achievement.” Paul served as a police officer prior to joining APEGA as a Regulatory Affairs Investigator. When asked what inspired her essay, Sadie said that although she does not have a lot of personal connections to those who have fought in war, thanks to her dad, she has a great admiration for those who risk their lives to protect others.

Along with writing, Sadie enjoys playing club and school soccer and volleyball. She is currently in Grade 11 at St. Albert Catholic High School and especially enjoys chemistry and mathematics—so engineering or geoscience could be in her future!

Sadie recalls how the importance of Remembrance Day was instilled in her since childhood, noting that her family always attended Remembrance Day events to show their support, even if that meant bundling up to brave the cold. Because of this, she deeply understands the importance of remembrance, saying, “Every year, as I pin my poppy over my heart, I am reminded of the deaths that occurred so that my daily life can be the way it is.”

In high school, Sadie learnt new ways to get involved and spread awareness about Remembrance Day. She heard about the Royal Canadian Legion’s contest from her school teacher, Mrs. Montpetit. Her teacher had encouraged Sadie to enter the contest, so she decided to try her hand at writing, and it proved to be her strong suit. Student submissions go through three levels of judging—branch, provincial, and federal—making the grading thorough and competitive. After her essay was judged at the top level in Ottawa, Sadie was awarded first place in the senior category for her essay titled, “Remembering the Past and Reflecting on the Present.”

In addition to the honour of receiving first place, she was invited to attend the St. Albert Legion Veteran’s Supper, where she read her essay aloud for the veterans. She then attended the Pinning of the First Poppy Ceremony, where she met the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell. In the coming week, she will attend the Speaker’s Reception at the Alberta Legislature, where she will read an excerpt from her essay, and the 2018 National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa, where she will have the honour of placing a wreath on behalf of the Youth of Canada.

Sadie Vogel at the First Pinning of the Poppy

A proud Sadie Vogel joins other winners of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Poster and Literacy Contest on stage to be adorned with her poppy.

Meeting the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and reading her essay at the Veteran’s Supper were special moments for Sadie. Her experience at the Veteran’s Supper is one she will always cherish. As she finished reading and glanced around the quiet room, she could see overwhelming emotion on the faces of many veterans in the crowd. Sadie says, “I wrote it from the heart, but I didn’t realize it would speak to people the way it did. It really moved them.”

With her trip to Ottawa only days away, Sadie talked about how much Remembrance Day means to her, saying eloquently and quite simply, “The sacrifices of those men and women is what has allowed us to live our lives in peace. We need to remember them. Canada would not be the same without them.”

Read Sadie’s full essay