Today is Remembrance Day. Many Canadians have not lived through war or experienced it first hand. Instead some of us play war games on the computer and video games but (and I think fortunately) this does not seem to give us any idea of the nightmare that many of our veterans have experienced first hand. We also catch glimpses of war through the media. I know that I personally feel really far removed from the war even though my grandmother was an evacuee in the Second World War. It is so important to remember that war has happened, can happen and is happening in our world. If we forget this than we have learned nothing from some of the worst attrocities in known human history.
This week I attended a library to hear this veteran talk about his experience in the navy during the Second World War. If you have never heard the first hand account of a war veteran and have never experienced war first hand it may be helpful to you to hear some of the stories of war that can’t be told through statistics alone. Below is a listing of websites with information on War from a Canadian perspective – mostly the focus here is on the First World War but there are some sites below with information on the Second World War.
CBC site – Lest we Forget
Military and Personnel Records
Learn more about the poppy and the poppy campaign
Virtual Museum of Canada and the Second World War – this includes veteran’s stories
Jewish Holocaust Survivors tell some of their stories
Oral Histories of the First World War
War Diaries of the First World War
Mary Riter Hamilton (artist) on The Traces of War
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
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.
Click here to see an artist’s representation of Flanders Fields.