LEST WE FORGET.
Just got home from the Remembrance Day Ceremony here in Burlington. It was a good service and even the weather cooperated to a degree. The drizzle stopped and at one point the sun tried to break through. This is my 2nd and quite possibly the last ceremony I will attend. The problem I have is the standing so long and also sometimes I feel out of place as I am not a veteran of any of Canadas’ wars, I like a great many other Canadians crossed the border to serve in the American armed forces in Viet Nam.
I am not ashamed of my service but I look at all the old vets standing there with their medals and I picture them as young lads and lassies full of life going off to fight in perhaps the only justifiable war in history. The Commonwealth and Empire lost over 580,000 killed and almost as many wounded. Amongst the dead, my father Cpl. David Campbell 48th R.T.R. wounded and taken prisoner my step-dad Pvt. Raymond McArthur, Essex Rifles, 4th Commando, taken prisoner LS Nicholas P. Gibbons R.N. my uncle, wounded Pvt. Harry Holt N.S.R. Caen France, another uncle. They are all gone now and to-day is their day. My father died when I was 19 months old so I don’t remember him. My step-dad brought me and my Mom to Canada and he raised me. I don’t think I turned out to bad. I can still see my Uncle Nick at parties telling whoppers about the navy and singing. I don’t remember much about Harry. The wounds he sustained in France left him with a permanently stiff left leg, but it never really slowed him down.
There were others from my family who served, great-uncles who I only vaguely know by name. In reality my family wasn’t unlike hundreds of thousands families of the late 30s’ and 40s’. The call went out and they stood to in “Harms’ Way.
Remembrance Day is their day but so is every other day that passes because without these young people, now grown old, we would not enjoy the freedoms we have. They were and are “THE GREATEST GENERATION”