My father joined the army at the start of WWII.
He went through all the training then just a few days before he was to ship out to overseas he had a motorcycle accident and smashed his knees.
His army career was over and because it was so short I never really connected him to the army or the war.
In the late 1970’s I was living in the Crowsnest Pass and decided to join the local Royal Canadian Legion. I needed my father’s service number to do this.
When I phoned and asked him for it he started to cry. Then he told me about that time in his life.
The men in his unit banded together so well that they truly felt like brothers. They were ready to go fight the enemy together.
He told me that on the day the rest of his unit shipped out he laid in his hospital bed and cried.
That is the way it was in those days, everyone wanted to do their part to bring the enemy down.
No one hesitated, over one million Canadians wanted to be part of whatever it took to bring this enemy down.
It took the lives of over 45,000 Canadians,not counting the 55,000 that were wounded, plus the thousands of lives from all the Allies.
They helped defeat the enemy and because they did we are free.
Free to worship in whichever church we want, or even to not worship at all.
Free to vote for the person we want to be our leader.
Free to get as much education as we want.
Free to start our own business.
Free to live.
It is wonderful that we remember those men and women every November. It is great that we make sure the younger generations learn about them and why we need to remember them.
I think we need to do more than just remember them. We need to thank them.
I know there are not that many left from that time. I hope those of us who do get the chance to meet a veteran will go up to him or her and say ‘Thank You’.
The present day military forces are fighting a new enemy. These men and women are risking their lives so we can live our lives without fear.
Have you ever thought what would happen if they didn’t fight this enemy?
How many of them have we said ‘Thank You’ to? That is what we need to do, and not just in November, whenever we meet a military personnel we need to go up to them and say thank you and remember them in our prayers.
by Lois Perepelitz