This is the best your best post at the site.
Lest we forget, always remember.
(Hats off, moment of silence.)
You're a class act, LT.
Anyone ever read Pierre Berton's Vimy? Many argue that this WW I battle was essential to the start of the country's national identity. Some think Berton's not a serious historian, but his conclusion is stunning.
Here's to all the guys who didn't come home to lace them up one more time.
This is an important day. I am off to try to explain it to my 4 year old. He thinks we are going to a ceremony to see 'superheroes'
Bohologo – Vimy should be a must read in every school in this country.
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.
- Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872 – 1918)
Agreed on Vimy. Excellent book. Marching as to War is quite good as well.
A Perfect Hell is an account of the 1st Special Service Force (The Devil's Brigade) that I think people would also enjoy.
Nice touch today LT.
Jack Granastein has a couple of excellent books out there on both the First and Second World War and the Canadian roles in it.
Interestingly enough, by the second half of world war one, Canadians were regarded as the shock troops for the British forces. So much so that Canadian movements had to be concealed from the Germans to keep them from over-preparing for the attacks. They even had a special name for the Canadians, which escapes me right now.
Our vets are special people, and I feel privileged to share the same country with them.
The hand-picked best of the best trained army in the world.
Kind of puts complaining about a game played by millionaires on ice into perspective.
Thank you to all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the important work they do.
Thank you for the post. My generation (Generation Y) has no idea to the depth of sacrifice so many had to commit to during the war efforts. I am lucky enough to have became friends with a 92 year old British lady who was a nurse during the WWII. The stories she tells me always leave my hair standing on end and thankful for what so many have done to allow me to live the life I lead.
God bless all those who gave so much, often life, granting us the freedoms we have and my prayers go out to those continuing to serve.
On April 28, 1945, the Canadians negotiated a truce which permitted relief supplies to enter the western Netherlands and end the "Hunger Winter". No part of western Europe was liberated at a more vital moment than the Netherlands and the Dutch people cheered Canadian troops as one town after another was freed.To show their appreciation to the pilots who dropped food from the air, many Dutch people painted, "Thank you, Canadians!" on their rooftops. In honour of their gift of freedom, Dutch people have donated 10,000 tulip bulbs to Canada for the National Capital Region, annually since the war's end. That, my friends, is what being a Canadian is all about.Never forget…
Thanks for the touching post LT.
As a Canadian and an Aboriginal person, I am forever in debt to those boys and girls who gave their lives, so that I may be considered en equal among my peers. This was not always the case before the wars.
Thank you to everyone who served or is serving their country today.
Thank you, Lain, for posting this.
And thank you to friends, family and strangers who have served or who are now serving this great nation. Always, always remembered.
And another to all those who did, and continue to do so!
He thinks we are going to a ceremony to see 'superheroes'
Mike… you are!
For a peaceful country we have a very long and distinguished record as a great military force. Vimy is one of the few WWI battle sites still kept up in its original condition today by the Canadian government in France and it sends chills up your spine to look at the trenches.
WWII Crerar's I Canadian Corps was at the core of Montgomery's Northern Army as it marched from Normandy to the Rhineland
My theory is that our history in playing hockey is one reason why we are such good fighters
Gritty and determined could be words to describe Canadian troops. Just like the same words are used to describe good hockey players.
I honestly cannot express in words my level of gratitude to those men and women who have served our country abroad.
Great comments. I had to put this up or my Dad would have come back and put the boots to me. Only slightly kidding.
He was in WW2 and that generation (men and women) worked their tails off home and away to make this country what it is today. My Dad always said "leave a place better than when you got there" and damned if that isn't what they did in this country.
I shudder to think what they'll say about my generation.
My dad's RCAF squadron was in the Netherlands during the Hunger Winter. That's no overstatement; later in life my parents made close friends with a Dutch couple who told tales of eating tulip bulbs to survive.
Dad (and my Mum, a wartime bride) returned to Holland in 1995 and again in 2000 to mark the 50th and 55th anniversaries of the liberation. Huge throngs came out for a memorable parade. My folks and their peers were billeted in people's homes and treated like royalty. Dad said his wallet never came out of his pocket once the whole time.
Dad also told me that the grave of every Canadian soldier buried in Holland is assigned each year to a schoolchild to tend and maintain. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
Never posted here before but I wrote down this family story for the first time in an email at work this week.
Beef for Dinner during the Korean War
My father was twelve years old when the Korean War started more than a half-century ago. It’s a period of time that he doesn’t talk about all that often, although I believe the experience deeply affected his future life in both good and not-so-good ways. His hometown is Incheon which is a port city on the west coast located at about the middle of the Korean peninsula. This is where General Douglas MacArthur landed his army in 1950. MacArthur was brilliant in some ways but deeply flawed in other ways. After the war the Koreans put up a large bronze statue of General MacArthur in Freedom Park that overlooks Incheon. Nowadays, you can look at the General and feed pigeons at the same time.
The Korean peninsula is only about one-third the size of Alberta. From 1950-1953, two huge armies took turns marching up and down this piece of land; shooting and killing each other in large numbers as well as killing many of the civilians that got in the way. Korea was a poor country even before the war. This was due in a large part, I think, to an ineffective, corrupt government and likely to the previous three decades of harsh Japanese occupation that ended in 1945. Agriculture during war-time is difficult at best and finding food was a major problem. Some days, they were lucky to get one meal a day and getting to eat any sort of meat was a rarity.
At the time of the war there was only one paved highway in all of Korea and one day my father and his cousin and a few other people with a cow pulling a cart were walking down it returning to home. Unfortunately during war-time, any group of people traveling along the roads were often identified as a column of soldiers and fired upon by roving combat air patrols on both sides. And that’s what happened.
They heard the pop-pop of guns and saw a plane strafing the road. My father recalls it as a twin engine propeller plane similar to the P-38 Lightning. P-38s were used extensively in World War II but not in Korea. It was probably an F-82 Twin Mustang which was used by American squadrons in Korea early in the war. They are similar looking aircraft with distinctive silhouettes. (You can probably tell that I had a keen interest in aircraft when I was a child.) It would not have been unusual to fired upon by U.N./American aircraft, as the pilots were often not very discriminating.
Hits from the plane’s guns tore small craters into the asphalt but fortunately my father and his cousin were unhurt. The cow was not so lucky. The guns from the plane literally tore it into pieces. My very hungry father and his cousin grabbed some big chunks of meat off the road and ran back the remaining couple of kilometers back to the house.
When they got home, my grandmother came to the door and almost fell over in shock. The boys were both covered in cow blood and my grandmother thought that they’d been shot. My father usually ends the story here although he sometimes mentions something about stewed cow leg. Dad is in his 70s now and he still loves beef.
If you’re ever in Korea and have an interest in the Korean War then I suggest three places:
1) The National War Memorial in Seoul: This place is huge and filled to the brim with war artifacts and displays from conflicts involving Korea all the way up to the modern era.
2) The Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea: You can actually visit this area, at least parts of it. Despite the name, it’s very heavily militarized since technically the war has never ended (the bulk of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division is still stationed in Korea). One bonus is that you can visit the tunnels that the North Koreans were trying to dig under the border. It’s a bizarre place.
3) The United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Pusan on the southern tip of the Korean peninsula. There are a lot of young Canadians buried in Korea.
Heard this on the radio today.
Thought it was pretty good.
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July 23, 5:00 pm by Lowetide