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Old 11-04-2008, 10:09 AM   #1
charlene
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Default Nov.11 - Remembering

http://www.1914-1918.ca/vigil.aspx
Virtual streaming begins at 5 p.m.

In memory of Canada's WW1 military members who lost their lives this is an amazing Vigil taking place in England and across Canada..

The vigils start at 5 p.m. in each city noted at the website, names of the dead will be broadcast on buildings.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend the opening ceremony at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, to launch Vigil 1914-1918, which will commemorate those Canadians who lost their lives in the First World War.

The London Vigil will take place in Trafalgar Square. The names of the 68,000 Canadians lost in WWI will be projected on the side of Canada House over seven nights, starting at 5:00pm each evening, The first name appears at 5:15pm. Each night’s vigil will be 13 hours long, ending at sunrise the following day. The vigil will then recommence at 5:00pm and run another 13 hours. The last name will appear as dawn breaks on November 11th.

We will remember them.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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nice stuff
_____________________________________

Tribute to World War I dead arrives in Toronto

Nov 04, 2008 08:03 PM
Lorrayne Anthony
THE CANADIAN PRESS

Commuters in Canada's largest city paused in reflection and remembrance Tuesday as the names of some 68,000 Canadians who died in the First World War flickered across an outdoor wall of Toronto's towering City Hall.

The nocturnal, outdoor social gathering was prompted by the hi-tech visuals of "Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil," a dusk-to-dawn electronic tribute marking 90 years since the end of the First World War.

The tribute is scheduled to continue in several Canadian cities every night until Remembrance Day next Tuesday.

Rekindling the memory of those who made the "supreme sacrifice" in the First World War gets more vital with each passing day, Toronto Mayor David Miller told the gathered crowd.

He said Canadians can't pay high enough tribute to those 68,000 war dead, who "never returned from fighting those conflicts so we might live in peace and freedom."

Among the politicians, soldiers and a small crowd of civilians who gathered for the event was Fergy Brown, former mayor of the old west Toronto suburb of York.

Brown, who fought in the Second World War as part of the Allied effort's Bomber Command, said he's been to many a vigil for fallen soldiers.

This one, he said, was different.

"This is the first time I remember we've focused on people who served in the First World War."

The high-tech visual commemoration was conceived by actor R. H. Thomson and lighting designer Martin Conboy, who – together with Canada's National History Society – raised money to finance the cross-Canada project.

After kicking off in London under the watchful eye of the Queen, the vigil made its way westward, making its Canadian debut in Halifax and Fredericton before hitting Toronto, Ottawa, Regina and Edmonton.

As the sun set over historic St. Paul's Anglican Church in downtown Halifax, about 50 local and provincial dignitaries gathered under a crescent moon to officially begin the vigil in Canada.

Former Nova Scotia premier John Hamm told the crowd that each of the 68,000 soldiers lost on the cratered killing fields of Belgium and France was a "fallen hero."

"Each one is a reminder to all of us how blessed we are to live in a peaceful country with an abundance of rights and freedoms,`` Hamm said as darkness fell over the leaf-strewn Grand Parade, the public square between the church and Halifax City Hall.

"The bodies of these brave soldiers were never returned home ... They were buried on blood-soaked battlefields or in crowded cemeteries a world away."

As a lone piper played a mournful dirge, a pair of projectors beamed the message "Lest we forget" on the white facade of the 258-year-old church before the names of the soldiers began appearing and fading away.

"It's a very unique way for Canada to remember those who made such a great sacrifice in the defence of their country," Hamm said earlier.

"We must not forget the promise we made to veterans – that we would not forget."

Long before the sun set in the Maritimes, the vigil played out on a wall in London's celebrated Trafalgar Square, with the Queen on hand to honour Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War.

The Duke of Edinburgh was also among those who gathered to watch the international debut of the Canadian-made tribute.

The ceremony began with darkness falling on London amid the piercing notes of "The Last Post," played by a lone bugler.

"Long may we all remember the multitude of Canadians, and indeed all of those who laid down their lives to defend the lives of others," the Queen, a maple leaf brooch on her coat, told the crowd.

After her speech, she took time to meet with a gathering of Canadian veterans and active-duty soldiers who have completed tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Jim Wright – Canada's high commissioner to the U.K. – described the tribute in London as a touching moment.

"It was extremely moving watching the names scroll down very slowly ... there was absolute silence," Wright said.

"It was a passing of a generation from veterans to the youth of today."
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #3
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THE VETERAN ON OUR TEN DOLLAR BILL *

If you look at the back right-hand side of a Canadian $10 bill,
you will see an old veteran standing at attention near the
Ottawa War Memorial. His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died
last month at the age of 90.

That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given
what happened in the Second World War. Born in England , he was
one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force
sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new
German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg. He was treating a
wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. En
route to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German
tank, which then miraculously ceased fire. Evacuated from
Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were
sunk.

Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in North Africa and
Italy . En route, his ship was chased by the German battleship
Bismarck. In North Africa he served under General Montgomery
against the Desert Fox, Rommel. Sent into the Italian campaign,
he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a
Canadian hospital. They were married in the morning by the mayor
of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre.

After the war they settled in Chatham, Ontario where he went into
politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county and on
his retirement, he and his wife moved to Ottawa . At the age of
80 he wrote a book about his experiences. One day out of the
blue he received a call from a government official asking him to
go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was
for or why they chose him. 'He had no idea he would be on the
bill,' his daughter said.
And now you know the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
Jesse Joe
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'Letters from Home' arrive in Afghanistan
Published Monday November 10th, 2008


KANDAHAR - Dear Readers, Monctonians and New Brunswickers:

Tomorrow we join with our fellow Canadians at home to remember our veterans with a moment of silence at 11 a.m.
We of Kandahar Air Field, more than 2,500 Canadian soldiers -- including hundreds of New Brunswickers based in Camp Gagetown, Moncton and military bases all over our nation -- as well as military and civilian support staff, will all be with you.
At home, it will still be Monday in the wee hours of the morning when our Remembrance Day Service begins.
I mention the time to illustrate how far from home our soldiers here really are.
Yet they ʽsoldier onʼ through the pain of separation from loved ones, through enormous physical exertion, through Spartan living conditions and through grave danger.
I'ʼve experienced only the tiniest fraction of only some of these things in my few days here; just a taste, just enough to understand for the first time how richly deserving our ʽnew veteransʼ are of our respect, admiration and support.
Just a few weeks ago, we invited you to send your support to our New Brunswick and Canadian troops, participants in what many see as Canadaʼs great war effort of the new generation.
It is an effort that we at The Times & Transcript believe is honourable and worthwhile and, many of you responded admirably.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj View Post
THE VETERAN ON OUR TEN DOLLAR BILL *


And now you know the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.
and the fine print at the top of the bill says "In The Service Of Peace" (you can't make it out in the picture)
one side has poppies and some of "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian serviceman John McRae.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:00 PM   #6
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As I sit here looking at the Poppies that my dear friend Bru sent me last year, I realize that in a lot of places in the US we still do not give proper respect to our servicemen. Bru sent me the poppies because I could not find any to purchase around where I live. I found out from many of my friends that they had the same experience.
I love the Canada recognizes their vets. I wish we did more here.
It doesn't matter if this is a popular war or not, the fact remains, we have men that have decided to put their lives on the line and for that very brave act they deserve our respect. People seem to forget that it isn't just the men and women fighting now, we are honoring ALL the vets, from ALL the wars, or during peacetime, alive or dead, they are true heroes.
Thank you again Bru for the wonderful poppies.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Veterans have been out since November 1 selling poppies in malls, outside banks/beer and liquor stores etc. and poppy boxes have been in stores since then as well. most of us wear our poppies for the whole month of november. all politicians and news people on tv have been wearing them since nov.1 too..yesterday there were lots of Sunday services for Remembrance Day, some laying of wreaths at cenotaphs etc. We now have Remembrance week. Canada has one veteren left from the first world war..he's 108 and was too young to see combat..
My friend and I were out last week and she had just lost her second poppy of the week when we passed a veteran...she walks with a cane and has use of only one arm so i was loaded up with bags and packages and helping her navigate out the doors of the store when from behind the veteran came over, walking with his own cane and stopped us and put a poppy on her coat..he wouldn't accept any money for it..
there is no charge for them..donations are accepted tho.

beautiful posters and stories behind them:
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/s...ections/poster
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:27 PM   #8
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Thanks Is Just Not Enough!
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:51 PM   #9
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NBC Nightly News had a segment on the Highway of Heroes tonight. Canada got a little exposure in the US, and for all the right reasons.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:52 AM   #10
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I missed that clip... nice... thanks, rm


By Kevin Tibbles, NBC News correspondent

It is not often that you witness something for the first time, and find yourself being moved to tears.

But, that is exactly how I responded one day last summer as I was driving down a stretch of highway outside of Toronto.

I noticed a few people on the overpass standing with flags.

On the next bridge, same thing.

Then there was a bridge with a fire truck on it, and more flags, and more people. Essentially I had driven, I dunno...50 or 60 miles...and there were people gathered on every single bridge.

Fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, pickups, sedans...moms, dads, the elderly, kids.

When I finally got to my own mother's house I asked her what was going on. "It's not a holiday? Is there a celebrity coming? What's with all the people on the bridges?".

She told me that stretch of highway 401 is now referred to as 'The Highway of Heroes'.

Each time a Canadian soldier dies in Afghanistan, fighting alongside Americans in the war on terror, people simply gather on the bridges out of respect.

They stand, maybe salute, maybe wave a flag, to show the fallen combatants family they are not alone.

It isn't political. It isn't organized. It doesn't cost a cent. And yet hundreds of ordinary people come to stand and say 'thanks' each time the body of a soldier comes by.

As we prepare to mark Veterans Day, or Remembrance Day as it is called in Canada, here is a grassroots movement that has simply grown out of respect for those who put their lives on the line.... Lest We Forget.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:25 AM   #11
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page 1 of 4

A journey of remembrance

Buried on foreign soil, thousands of miles from home, lay a darling 24-year-old linked to me through blood and memory. This was my journey to find him.



Related Content
- Remembrance day far away
- What makes us Canadian?
- Tim Hortons in Kandahar, Afghanistan: An insider?s view


The countryside around Ypres, Belgium, is peaceful today. The spires of Cloth Hall and Saint Martin’s Cathedral dominate the flat farmland and can be seen from kilometres away. There are vast potato fields, and horses graze lazily in green pastures. Roses and rhododendrons bloom brightly in gardens next to tidy homes with red-tiled roofs. It’s a far cry from the bombed-out horror of the no man’s land that it was 90 years ago, during the First World War. The town was all but obliterated then, with only a couple of stone walls and part of the Cloth Hall tower standing above the rubble. Its citizens returned as soon as they could, and rebuilt their homes exactly as they had been before the war took over their lives.

The Ypres area was the site of four years of gruelling warfare, and it is where my great-uncle, Henry Errol Platt, fought and died. The younger of Errol’s two sisters, Kae, was my grandmother, and I grew up listening to her stories about “darling Errol.” Her voice would ring with love and pride as she spoke of him. My grandmother was just 18 when she last saw Errol, but until she died in 1993 at the age of 96, she kept him close to her heart. In sharing stories of Errol, she made him real for me, ensuring he would not be forgotten.

I have wanted to visit Errol’s grave site in Ypres for many years to pay my respects to this family member who is part of me. Family is the link through the generations that connects us with our past and our future. Without my grandmother, I would never have known Uncle Errol, so my journey to the small Belgium town was one of thanks for her love in bringing Errol and I together.

Canada is at war again, this time in Afghanistan, and our men and women have begun dying once more. Each time one of our fallen soldiers comes home, I watch the news, both saddened and proud. I think of Uncle Errol. There were no homecoming ceremonies for him and the more than 67,000 Canadians who were killed overseas during the First World War. They were buried where they fell, so many, so fast. My trip was also my personal thanks to all of our soldiers for their honour, their bravery and their sacrifice for me, for my family and for Canada.

Every Canadian student learns about the First World War, the chlorine gas attacks, the desperate fighting in mud-filled trenches, and the bravery and skill of the Canadian soldiers that distinguished them within the Commonwealth forces. But the classroom version pales in comparison to visiting the actual sites and seeing the cemeteries – more than 150 of them in the Ypres area alone.

Looking out over the rows and rows of gravestones, I realize they aren’t just numbers in a textbook. They represent real people who lived and loved and dreamed – just like my uncle Errol. The sense of loss is overwhelming, but my small gesture of being here makes me feel a part of a larger community of remembrance.

Last edited by Jesse Joe; 11-11-2008 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:43 AM   #12
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page 2 of 4

A journey of remembrance

By Cathy Stapells


Each evening at 8 p.m., the “Last Post” – a bugle call used to commemorate those who have fallen in war – sounds at the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres. The Last Post ceremony has been conducted here since 1928, and it is no small thing for the people of Ypres to do this every night. But they do unfailingly, with kindness, dignity and appreciation.

Located just down the street from Ypres’ main square, Menin Gate is shaped like a triumphal Roman arch; on its walls are the names of 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who went missing in action. There are so many Canadian names here, nearly 7,000. On the evening I attend the ceremony, members of the Londonderry Branch of the Somme Association, a group that organizes trips to Belgium and France for relatives of those killed in the war, lay a wreath against one wall of the monument. About 300 people, young and old alike, including a few veterans, listen as the playing of the Last Post is followed by a minute of silence. I look around at the other faces assembled here and feel a connection to these people whom I don’t know, but who, like me, want to remember and pay tribute.

Just a few kilometres away, near Passchendaele, is Tyne Cot Cemetery, where the names of another 34,984 Commonwealth soldiers are inscribed on a long, curved stone wall of remembrance. It is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, with nearly 12,000 graves; about 70 per cent of them mark the resting places of unnamed soldiers. These stones are inscribed: “A Soldier of the Great War. Known unto God."

From the rows of graves, there is a terrific view of Ypres. The air is sweet and a tremendous sense of peace pervades. Yet if I close my eyes, I can almost hear the roar of guns and the shouts of men echoing across the fields. Again, I am reminded of how real the war still feels here.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures the cemeteries are carefully tended. Small Canadian flags and paper poppies dot the gravestones, proof that others also feel a need to visit. This is particularly true at the Essex Farm Cemetery at Boezinge, about eight kilometres from Ypres, where John McCrae wrote his famous poem, “In Flanders Fields." They’re evident, too, at the magnificent Canadian Forces Memorial at Sint- Juliaan, about five kilometres from Ypres, which was erected in remembrance of the 3,000 soldiers from the 1st Canadian Division who died after the German chlorine gas attack of April 1915.

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Old 11-11-2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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page 3 of 4

A journey of remembrance

By Cathy Stapells


Here, I read the bare facts about Uncle Errol in the newspaper clippings that reported his death. He was a graduate of the University of Toronto, with degrees in political science and economics. He was enrolled in law at Osgoode Hall when he enlisted. Prior to the war, he had six years of military training with the 2nd Queen’s Own Rifles. He played rugby and was an oarsman with the Argonaut Rowing Club in Toronto. With the rank of lieutenant, he went overseas with the 35th Battalion, serving with A Company, 3rd Battalion in France and Belgium. He was 24 years old when he died on May 5, 1916.

To my grandmother, Errol was much more. He was an adored brother. Their family lived in London, Ont., before moving to Toronto when Kae was about eight years old and Errol was 13. “Oh, he could be a devil,” my grandmother once told me. She also recalled how she had fallen one morning, while racing to hitch a ride to school on the milk wagon. Errol jumped off to pull her out of the snow bank. He was her hero long before he went off to war.

It was only after my grandmother died that I was given Uncle Errol’s letters and began to read them. Within them I heard his voice for the first time. I have the sense that while he didn’t underestimate the danger he was in, he could also see the war as a grand adventure, and brought his obvious good humour to the situation.

Errol and his fellow soldiers shipped off to England on June 4, 1915, and his letters are filled with love for his family, advice to Kae about her school exams and the details of army camp life: the fairly decent food, the training that included 7 a.m. physical drills, 10-mile marches and bayonet practice. He also writes about the boredom of waiting to go to the front, and occasional trips he made with his friend George Mackenzie to London and the countryside in Devon where they were stationed

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Old 11-11-2008, 08:56 AM   #14
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page 4 of 4

A journey of remembrance


By Cathy Stapells


Soon enough, A Company was in the thick of the fighting. In a letter dated Feb. 11, 1916, Errol writes of the fear and noise of shelling in the trenches, and one fellow who came back to camp “an absolute wreck…. He was absolutely nervously exhausted from apprehension of impending danger. Myself, I find it a great help when anything comes unpleasantly close to swear fluently and sort of make it a personal matter between myself and the guy that fired the thing. Keeps up the fighting spirit don’t y’ know.

Later, in the same letter, Errol writes: “Last night George and I went for a walk up the road that runs along about half a mile behind the line, halting every now and then to gaze over the ruined country around us wrapped in a ghostly shroud of moonlit mist, while overhead the bullets sighed affectionately after each sharp crack from beyond the ridge in front. One could imagine that the crackle of musketry every now and then was the fireworks at old Toronto Ex.… We are not always in the eye of death, except for an occasional stray bullet, which came singing angrily past us from somewhere away off...."

This letter stays with me because it was a single bullet in the head that killed Uncle Errol, fired quickly and efficiently by a German sniper.

In a letter to Errol’s fiancée, dated May 8, 1916, George describes attending Errol’s burial at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery near Poperinge, just a few kilometres from both Ypres and the French border, and about 90 minutes’ drive from Vimy, France: “The afternoon sun shone brightly and a crisp breeze rustled through the new leaves – the day was full of spring and the grain of poetry in every man’s nature was stirred by thoughts too deep for tears...."

George obviously had a wonderful heart to write that, but it broke mine to read it.

During the years I read over Errol’s letters, I came to know the many people who were part of his life, especially George, and it was important to me to find out what happened to some of them when I visited Ypres. George was killed a month after Errol, and is buried in the next row over from his good friend.

Under a cloudless blue sky, I find Uncle Errol at Lijssenthoek. I’m finally here. Kneeling next to the roses and lilies, I quietly say hello and introduce myself. I share some of the stories I have heard about him and imagine Errol smiling at the memories. I feel a sense of companionship and a link to family that is now complete and strong. “You made a difference, you know, all of you,” I tell him. “Kae – everyone – sends their love.”

Finding a loved one killed in war
Veterans Affairs Canada maintains a database of men and women killed during the two world wars. This is how writer Cathy Stapells found her uncle Errol’s grave site in Ypres, Belgium. Visit the website, www.vac-acc.gc.ca, and enter the soldier’s name for details.

For more information on Canadian soldiers buried overseas, visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Flanders Fields Museum; and Last Post Association. For general information on Flanders, check out www.visitflanders.us.

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Old 11-11-2008, 10:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
"In Flanders Fields" by Canadian serviceman John McRae.
He was born about 15 minutes from here (McCrae House) in 1872. He wrote the famous poem after burying a young friend.

http://guelphdailyphoto.blogspot.com...irthplace.html
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:02 AM   #16
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They gave their futures for our todays..

I just received my commemorative poppy coin today marking the 90th anniversary of the ending of the first world war:
http://www.mint.ca/poppy/poppy-landing.html - i'll also pick up the book mark..

CBC has some wonderful footage: http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/...s/topics/2700/
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:46 PM   #17
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In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Our last WW1 soldier @108 years of age passed the torch to a WW11 vet who passed it to a young cadet..

May that young cadet and his peers never see the horrors of war that those who went before did.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/...rance-day.html
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:12 AM   #18
Jesse Joe
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Soldiers love your letters

Published Wednesday November 12th, 2008


Copies of T&T 'Letters from Home' arrive in Kandahar, messages loved by all troops serving there

Rod Allen


KANDAHAR AIR FIELD - Dear Ms. Molly McGinn,


Greg Agnew/Times & Transcript

Soldiers were very appreciative of copies of Letters From Home, delivered by Times & Transcript editor Rod Allen in Afghanistan yesterday.


You are so right.
Folks, Molly is a teacher at Hillcrest School who asked her Grade 6-8 English Language Arts class to participate in our now successfully completed 'Letters from Home' project.'
They responded very well and we send this letter right back to them:
"Mission accomplished, kids. Your letters graced a display table at New Canada House, a gathering place for our soldiers here at KAF, but only briefly. Our troops love these letters and snap them up. They keep them for luck.
A little more, a little later on Ms. McGinn and the children of Hillcrest School, and all the children and people from all over New Brunswick who wrote.
A letter also to Mr. Dan Strang of Malden: mission accomplished, sir; more or less."
I did manage to track down (which is to say stumble upon) one of our Southeastern N.B. boys and it was a great pleasure to chat with military engineer David Hepditch about many things, including you. Don't worry it was all good.
A letter also to Mr. Joe Bonnevie of Moncton and all over Canada:
"Mission accomplished, sir; pretty much."
It was my great ambition to get your little teddy bear in Canadian military gear, whom I've named 'Joe,' out to one of the Forward Operating Bases our soldiers maintain out in the wild mountains beyond "the wire." But apparently there's a war on out this way and it didn't come off.
However, 'Joe' now guards the fort at another gathering place called Old Canada House in another Canadian neighbourhood of this enormous military city.
Joe sits by your wonderful Canadian flag signed by people from all over Canada during your nationwide bicycle tours and offers copies of 'Letters from Home,' a special edition of The Times & Transcript containing some of the letters all your fellow NBers sent to us.
To all my crew at the dear old T&T and to our military partners here at KAF and back home in Ottawa: Mission accomplished in full, sirs and madams.
Those copies, three big honkin' boxes, were accepted gracefully and with much thanks not only by our gallant New Brunswickers but by all Canadian soldiers and all the NATO partners; the Brits, the French, the Dutch, well . . . there are 48 nations here.
I'm not kidding, they all loved them.
And a special thanks to those officers here who got a big package of them out to the FOBs and the 'strong points' in country, where their welcome is even greater.
But back now to Ms. McGinn who writes that the children were excited and enthused to share their feelings with our troops.
Our project, she says, "served as an interesting starting point for a discussion about the larger issues of the war."
Now that truly is a mission accomplished.
We have lost 97 soldiers in this conflict and hundreds more have been injured, but many thousands have been rotated through here and all of them make great sacrifices.
This is a well-run camp but it is also a war zone. A week here gives only a hint of the privation, the labour and the harsh conditions our soldiers endure.
Canada is not like Afghanistan; we have so much and they so little.
Our soldiers' 'great struggle' here, or rather in my opinion their magnificent one, is to create a decent life for this country and it should be remembered every day.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:18 AM   #19
Jesse Joe
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Default Re: Nov.11 - Remembering

5,000 honour veterans at Coliseum

Published Wednesday November 12th, 2008

Attendance way up at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the region

BY NICK MOORE
TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF


With mixed feelings of pride and sorrow in the air, veterans of war entered a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Moncton Coliseum yesterday to the standing applause of about 5,000 people in attendance.





Greg Agnew/Times & Transcript

As veterans of wars past and present entered the Moncton Coliseum yesterday, the applause was thunderous.


It was one of the several Nov. 11 ceremonies and services in Metro Moncton yesterday, marking 90 years since the end of the First World War.
It was a day to remember for both the young and old in all of southeastern New Brunswick. The Coliseum ceremony was organized by Canadian Legion Branch No. 9 with locals gathering to share in the remembrance while paying tribute to Canadians who are fighting a war thousands of kilometres away right now.
The nation's contributions and sacrifices were recognized from the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the war in Afghanistan and the many peacekeeping missions organized throughout Canada's history.
Françoise Despres, a Second World War veteran who served in the Army Infantry, was at the Coliseum ceremony and said Remembrance Day ceremonies, wherever they may be held, are important to all who have served because they give an opportunity to reflect upon those who didn't return home.
"These events are important because of what they represent to the whole world," said Despres, adding he felt uncomfortable being referred to as a hero, something a Coliseum full of people would have likely argued with him about.
"We weren't heroes, but we thought the world couldn't go on the way it was with Hitler and what was going on in Europe," he said. "We thought something had to be done. So we went over and we did what we had to do. But I don't consider myself a hero or anything like that.
"We were given a job to do and we did it."
The ceremony at the Coliseum was one of five Nov. 11 events which took place within Metro yesterday.
A two-minute moment of silence was observed at the eleventh hour inside the Dieppe Market, with a ceremony organized by the City of Dieppe and the Dieppe Veterans Association. Art Cuthbertson, a member of the association, said he was very pleased with the turnout.
"We had many more people show up than we expected so we're probably going to double our seating capacity for next year," he said. "We had seating for 150 people but we had about double that amount show up."
In Riverview, Remembrance Day services were held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church where about 500 people filled the building to standing room only. The service included young children singing from local school choirs. Claude Soucy, president of the Riverview Veterans and Armed Forces Association, said it's encouraging to see young people attend Remembrance Day ceremonies.
"It's nice to see as you walk out of the church kids giving each other hi-fives and stuff like that," he said.
Moncton's Sunny Brae Legion Branch No. 54 saw more than 1,000 people gather around the cenotaph on Massey Avenue. Debbie Darte, second vice-chairwomen for the poppy campaign at Sunny Brae Legion, said having the ceremony outside in the brisk autumn air was fine with her, even appropriate.
"It may have been cold and windy but I kept thinking to myself about what they had to go through in the trenches," said Darte.
A remembrance ceremony was also held outside in Moncton's Victoria Park yesterday. Other ceremonies in several southern New Brunswick communities were well-attended as well.
About 300 people gathered for an interdenominational church service at the Legion in Salisbury followed by the laying of wreaths at the local cenotaph nearby.
"We're a small little place and a small little Legion but the people in this village really do turn out, young and old," said Theresa Gogan, president of Canadian Legion Branch No. 31.
Russell Cole, president of the Sackville Canadian Legion Branch No. 26, said more than 3,000 people lined Bridge Street in the town to commemorate and applaud local war veterans who were walking in a paraded procession.
"It's the biggest crowd we've ever had show up," said Cole. "I've been working on Legion parades for the last 20 years and it's definitely the biggest one I've ever seen."
Cole said many of the Sackville spectators were of the younger generation and he gave credit to local school teachers who have been educating children about Canada's war history.
"A lot of our teachers are really getting involved in showing what our soldiers have done and it's really coming around," he said.
Brandon Smith, 12, of Lower Coverdale was at the Moncton Coliseum ceremony yesterday and said it was important for him to attend a Nov. 11 ceremony.
"I just wanted to be here to show the veterans that we haven't forgotten what they did," he said, adding that many of his fellow classmates were planning to make time for remembrance yesterday.
Alex Richard, 19, a student at l'Université de Moncton, also attended the Coliseum ceremony yesterday. Richard's grandfather is a war veteran so he said there's definitely a felt connection to the day for him.
"I think some people might just use Remembrance Day as a day off but you definitely got people here who come to remember the veterans," he said. "It's really important to remember everything they did for us.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:08 PM   #20
charlene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM View Post
NBC Nightly News had a segment on the Highway of Heroes tonight. Canada got a little exposure in the US, and for all the right reasons.
http://www.globaltv.com/globaltv/nat...html?id=953465

GLOBAL TV up here (national news station) has a report about it being news in the U.S.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:18 PM   #21
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Default Re: Nov.11 - Remembering

char, i was at city hall yesterday...i had an old photo of an earlier city hall scene from many years ago that my great aunt took...i must post it...the day had started at a more local memorial site (no one there yet except a wonderful wreath display) where I was challenged to explain 'war stuff' to junior...it was a challenge and i was certainly asked some blunt logical questions...last week, junior's uncle had sent a very real 'peacekeeping' photo of himself in 'combat' in Afghanistan...anyhow, it's always mind boggling how much i learn about myself and the world when today's youth puts you on the spot...many of my responses were, "that's actually a very good question"

giving one's life is the ultimate sacrifice but I'd like to acknowledge the many who were left scarred by ww1 and other wars...i don't think there was one single encounter i had with my late grandfather where those scars (none were of the visible nature) didn't surface...this was the case even at our final bedside 'chat' in his ninety-eighth year where he mumbled about the guilt of being able to live on while his best friend's life was taken by a grenade, only a few feet away, back when they were naive teens

they had made a pact with one another, to look after one another's loved ones should one not make it back to England alive...when my grandfather returned he became like a big brother to his dead friend's fiance...they did eventually wed and had a child, my mother...they had taken a post-war boat to Canada based on a prior war bunker small chat/endorsement from a fellow soldier ....my grandmother ultimately took ill but my grandfather visited her every day in hospital (the dementia went on for years) until the end, then he spent his forty years as a widower caring for a farm, stray cats and mutts but mostly glued to his violin

i once commented to him, "you look at the sheet music but you must know these old tunes so well that you probably hardly need it?"...i remember his reply, "yes, i've probably not needed to stare at this notation since the first week i learned these...but it's probably just habit and i am incapable of describing the vivid images of the past i actually see when i play my violin" ...i was left to imagine what he was referring to

something else that stuck was his "i must have been the only one in ww1 who didn't smoke or drink...the only good word i had for a cigarette was when i would light one last one for a dying fellow soldier...or even a dying enemy soldier ...after all, they were just like us, scared and simply following orders from the top...the films paint 'us' as heroes, perhaps, but we were just teenagers following orders...there was no choice that i was aware of...most of us would rather be back home in warm, dry clothes'

'over-glorified' or not, i like to think he served his old and new countrys well....as well as his friend

i guess my point was, for those living with the surviving victims of war, it can seem that every day is in fact a Remembrance Day

Last edited by jj; 11-12-2008 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:08 PM   #22
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ah, here's the wide shot pic my aunt took, 60 odd yrs ago plus a present day close up...not really too far from our Massey pub jam and the Hall itself
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:00 PM   #23
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it's so true JJ - those who remain have survivor guilt and their families have to live with a changed person. even those who never saw combat but did see the wounded and dead back in england or where they were stationed.

I never got to any local services but watched the 2 hours the CBC covered them from Ottawa..very moving as usual..

my uncle who died last year on nov.15 was an airplane mechanic and saw many young pilots fly off to their deaths..and many of his young buddies never return home..he never spoke of his war years.

i believe i read somewhere that Remembrance day was originally meant to remind people that war doesn't solve anything and remember those who fought for our freedom and to commemorate the end of World War 1.. The second world war or 'war to end all wars' is testament to that..it didn't end the wars.. 90 years on and we're still at it..

I recall when my kids were younger and the questions they had about war etc. and you are right - a lot of 'that's a good question' came out of my mouth as i searched for an age appropriate answer..the schools did a lot to educate the kids, much like they did when we were in school. Going to the gym for the services and reading of In Flanders Fields etc..

i never made it to see my uncle last year for Remembrance day but the year before we did and had a lovely day at the Legion and lunch..the respect given to him as we wheeled him around in his chair with his medals on his chest was lovely. He spent last years Remembrance day alone at his seniors centre watching the services on tv. i spoke with him a couple of days earlier, he hadn't been well and hardly ever called me but he did that night even tho it was hard for him to speak due to his medical condition...he was not a man to say I love you but that phone call ended with him saying I love you and a promise from me to him that i would see him the following week. At his funeral that very next week I whispered in his ear that I had kept my promise.. I knew he'd laugh about that..he had a wicked sense of humour..
He gave me away at my wedding and was more like a father to me and a grandfather to my kids. When my son was younger and asked him questions about the planes he fixed he was given some books my uncle had bought and liked to look at. He loved the air show at the EX and when he saw those old planes that would be about the only time you'd hear him talk about his time overseas..but he spoke only about the planes..

That's a great old pic of the crowds at the Old City Hall cenotaph/memorial..I love that building and the stately way the memorial sits right in front..

this is my uncle on Nov.11 2006. His daughter is pinning his medals on his jacket. He was a proud Canadian of Scottish heritage..
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:56 AM   #24
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Thanks Is Just Not Enough!
powerful pics, Yuri

I was at Trenton when they brought back the first 4...unfriendly fire

char, that was great to read!...was he the one who owned the condo?
i bet my grandad would turn in his grave if i posted him on youtube, lol...he was still trying to get over the technology shock, having his own colour tv in his latter years...he was as bitter about his ww1 and ww2 experiences as he was about his argos and leafs, lol...i know what ya mean about folks making way and saluting vets
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:32 AM   #25
charlene
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he didn't own the condo - his daughter did..
he loved the air show from 40 floors up overlooking the lake but wouldn't go out on the balcony..
he was an argos/leafs/jays fan... ya gotta love 'em!
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