Think of those who gave everything for you

 In Opinion

November is such a cold, damp and dreary month. It is also the month that on the 11th we are to stop and remember all those who gave their lives for our freedom and indeed our lives.
It is getting harder and harder to find veterans as they are all getting well on in years or have simply passed on. I come from a long line of military relatives. Ex-husband and my brother were both in the 3PPCLI in Victoria, the first having served in Cyprus as a peacekeeper. My father was a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, his father lied about his age (he was only 14, not the required 16) so he could join the Navy. I have his original ships logs, written on a waterproof type of paper. The first ship he was on was a wooden ship no less. He also served on the Royal Britannia that was the crowning feather in his naval cap.
My Swedish grandfather also served in the Swedish Military, it was compulsory and I believe still is, one year being the time to serve their country. Not a bad idea, I think.
I have seen a picture of my grandfather in his uniform standing next to a particular German fellow with the half brush mustache. How he ended up standing next to Hitler is beyond me, and no one on the Swedish side seems to know either. It wouldn’t have been a friendly chat as my grandfather’s mother was a Russian Jew who fled to Estonia and then to Sweden.
All through history we hear and see tales of persecution, most of the time over religion, look at Syria right now.
I have read a lot of books both fiction and non-fiction about the First and Second World Wars and one of my favorite is a book called Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman Gangster Kill or Die by Giles Milton. It is about D-Day, a read you won’t soon forget or want to put down. It doesn’t glorify war it just tells the gritty truth about D-Day and the tremendous losses suffered by both sides.
So why do I read these types of books? Because I don’t ever want to forget what happened. My Nana looked after evacuated children in Welland Garden City (just out of London). My father told stories of rationing and finding incendiaries. I wish I still had these people in front of me so I could ask them more about the wars and what life was like. There’s nothing like a firsthand account to try to know what that life could possibly be like.
So this Remembrance Day take a moment to think of all those who gave everything for you. We all have memories and we should write them down to either pass on to family or even just to clear your mind. The brain is a muscle and just like all our other muscles and lack of use will lead to atrophy.
Creemore Community Arts Project is offering several different classes to seniors and youth alike, I encourage you to check them out. I am taking the Seniors Creative Writing Class on Saturdays at St. Luke’s church hall, golly I don’t want my brain to turn to mush… or maybe I am too late?

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