I never fought in any wars! Yet WWII means as much to me as those who fought and lived…and still grieve over those who fought and died.
Because I am a product of that war in ways I did not understand until I grew up.
Only later did I truly appreciate that my grandparents exceptional love for me came in part because I became the replacement for their only one son who was killed in the dying days of the war.
I had only just been born then…June of 1944.
I have his letters to my mother inquiring about my health, which was not good then, as he also spoke of the lack of medicine available for a medical challenge he was facing.
I travelled with my grandparents extensively from Angusville, the small town in which I was born, to Winnipeg, where I spent most summers and holidays.
They never really spoke much about my Uncle Louis…I suspect the pain was too much.
Time educated me to their suffering without their ever having to mention it…But I always knew I had to live up to his name.
When I began to travel in the 70’s and work my way to Holland, it was as a pilgrimage to the Holten Cemetary where hundreds of Canadian soldiers are buried.
The neat rows of crosses could not hide the reality of family losses.
Dying for a principle bigger than life. That’s what these men and women did.
Take the time to think about those willing to fight on principle for others who share that determination without putting their lives on the line.
Take up their quarrel with the foe………
So they can sleep In Flanders Fields around the world.