TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - As an author, journalist, broadcaster and
speaker, Ted Barris has dedicated many years to sharing the stories of
Canada's war veterans. When Barris was in school, Canada's war history
was not taught like it is today. Inspired by his father, a veteran,
Barris' philosophy about writing is, "If there's a story that's not
been told, tell it."
Centennial College journalism professor Ted Barris received the Minister
of Veterans Affairs Commendation on July 27. It is awarded annually to
individuals who have contributed in an exemplary manner to the care and
well-being of war veterans or to the remembrance of their
contributions, sacrifices and achievements. The commendation is
traditionally awarded to veterans and is rarely given to civilians.
Over the years Barris has written the voices of veterans into his work
and has shared Canada's war history through many speaking engagements.
Barris estimates he has interviewed 4,000 veterans over his career and
many of their stories have been recounted in the 16 non-fiction books
Barris has written to date.
"Each veteran invited me into their memories to share with the country
their experiences, good or bad. Without their stories, none of what I
do is possible," says Barris. Even when their name isn't listed in
Barris' books, they know they contributed. "When a vet comes up to me,
the greatest compliment is when he or she says 'my name isn't in your
book, but my story is.'"
Receiving the commendation came as a surprise to Barris. He has been
leading travel tours of battlefields in Europe for more than eight
years, and was on a tour in Germany when he received the news. Being
nominated and selected by veterans, the honour carries great weight for
Barris: "It was both powerful and humbling."
Barris brought his stories and passion with him when he began teaching
journalism at Centennial College in 1999. Since that time, Barris has
raised the profile of Remembrance Day at the college by organizing a
full observance including a colour guard from the Legion and a bugler
playing the last post. Veterans come to the ceremony to share their
stories and answer students' questions. Through Barris' efforts
students get genuine insights into the meaning of Remembrance Day.
The public is invited to join Ted Barris at Centennial College's annual
Remembrance Day ceremony at 10:30 am at The Centre for Creative
Communications, 951 Carlaw Avenue in East York.
This media release was based on a story written by Centennial College
student Will Pennell.
SOURCE Centennial College
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