It is likely that most Canadians have current family members, ancestors, friends, co-workers or neighbours who have been in battle, and many gave the supreme sacrifice. Therefore, everyone has a duty to pause and remember them. Only by knowing and understanding our history can we properly plan, prepare for and hopefully prevent future catastrophes.
Editorial Board, Publishing date: Nov 12, 2020
My own family and neighbours’ histories reflect what we in Canada and around the world have experienced:
• Uncle John Archibald McCallum: killed in action by artillery shells in France in August 1918. Uncle John is interred in a military cemetery in France. He left behind a wife and four children;
• Grandfather Harry Nelson Reid: March,1916,1918-April, 1919. He served in England, France, Belgium and Germany with the 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion;
• Father Ralph Garlett Reid, DFC, RCAF: July 1942-September 1945. Lancaster pilot who carried out 38 operational missions with 115 Squadron, Witchford, England, from November 1944-April 1945;
• Uncle Harry Beatty Reid, RCAF, aircraft technician, England 1944-1945;
• Neighbour, RCAF: Halifax air gunner, 417 Squadron, 32 operational missions, August 1944 –November 1944;
• Neighbour, RCAF, shot down over Germany and was a Prisoner of War 1943-1945.
I have met many more who served in times of war and strife. These people are examples of millions of Canadian civilians who volunteered in the prime of their lives to protect us from incorrigible and evil enemies to ensure we never lose the freedoms we enjoy. These six, and many others I met, likely touched thousands of Canadians throughout their lifetimes. By my count, most Canadians have been touched by members of our military. Let us learn by never forgetting.
Bill Reid, Ottawa