The Eagle Blog

Lest We Forget

My dad served with the British army in World War II, as a tank gunner. He joined at age 18 at the start of the war in 1939 and left 6 years later at the end of the war. He had lots of stories to tell of his escapades, and talked about the war as being 99% boring and 1% terror. Most of his stories revolved around drinking and the mischief he and his buddies managed to get into. Occasionally he would talk about more serious things. He had a picture of himself with six buddies, and he was the only one who survived the war. My dad certainly remembered!

My Uncle Davy served in the Royal Navy during the war and his ship was sunk in the Java Sea, after which he was held in a Japanese prison of war camp. He barely survived his ordeal, spent 6 months recuperating in Australia and developed a taste for alcohol that never left him. He died very young from the affects of alcoholism. I can assure you that he never forgot.

I spent seven years in the Royal Navy, joined at age sixteen and never saw action. Not long after I left the Falklands War happened and one of my ex-shipmates was among those killed.

I think anyone who has ever served in the military will take time to think about those who have lost their lives serving their country. It just seems to be the right thing to do.

Over the years we read about the young men who have lost their lives … in Afghanistan or Iraq, not that long ago it was Northern Ireland and Vietnam. I see their pictures in the paper and I think about their sacrifice and how their deaths must have caused such grief to their families.

Those of us lucky enough to live in Canada owe a debt of gratitude to those who ensured our way of life has been preserved, and to those who strive to make our World a better place today.

To the young men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives who have paid the ultimate sacrifice today is a day when we formally remember your sacrifice. Anyone who has been close to these people don’t need a special day … they will always remember.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on Google+

4 thoughts on “Lest We Forget

  1. Eloquently put Kevin –

    ‘Lest we forget’ like ‘I love you’ are 3 little words that invoke powerful emotions and images.

    Thank you for sharing….

  2. Eloquently put Kevin –

    ‘Lest we forget’ like ‘I love you’ are 3 little words that invoke powerful emotions and images.

    Thank you for sharing….

  3. Thoughtful words. Many thanks!
    I was so excited to see a huge Poppy displayed right at the centre of CN Tower, while commuting to work downtown from the GO train, that I forced a woman (that was proudly sporting Poppy on her coat alongside a pin of Canadian flag) sitting in front of me to see this marvelous view. I had never known her before but it did not matter! She thanked me for this and enjoyed the view. She told me her parents are retired combat naval staff from British Navy and were on duty during WW-II. Each of Nov 11ths means her a lot!
    I do not have any war veterans in my personal background but I am equally proud of my parents and grandparents that did their best, honestly all their lives for preserving immortal virtues, the prime being Freedom.
    I wish there was a siren by the City Halls across Canada sharp at 11 am on 11th Nov and all residents heard it loud and clear reminding them to pay their tribute by standing in silence just for one minute! Sadly, it never happened and the minute of tribute went unnoticed thru the hustle and bustle of working life. Many organizations observed the day by not operating their businesses but many seem to have not even cared!
    But that’s about those people that forget the very basis behind their peaceful, prosperous and free living..
    I refuse to be part of that crowd!
    Sincerely,

  4. Thoughtful words. Many thanks!
    I was so excited to see a huge Poppy displayed right at the centre of CN Tower, while commuting to work downtown from the GO train, that I forced a woman (that was proudly sporting Poppy on her coat alongside a pin of Canadian flag) sitting in front of me to see this marvelous view. I had never known her before but it did not matter! She thanked me for this and enjoyed the view. She told me her parents are retired combat naval staff from British Navy and were on duty during WW-II. Each of Nov 11ths means her a lot!
    I do not have any war veterans in my personal background but I am equally proud of my parents and grandparents that did their best, honestly all their lives for preserving immortal virtues, the prime being Freedom.
    I wish there was a siren by the City Halls across Canada sharp at 11 am on 11th Nov and all residents heard it loud and clear reminding them to pay their tribute by standing in silence just for one minute! Sadly, it never happened and the minute of tribute went unnoticed thru the hustle and bustle of working life. Many organizations observed the day by not operating their businesses but many seem to have not even cared!
    But that’s about those people that forget the very basis behind their peaceful, prosperous and free living..
    I refuse to be part of that crowd!
    Sincerely,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.