This Sunday, 11 November 2012, let us honour our parents and grandparents.
StarPhoenix writer Gerry Klein speaks of his coming to understand the
meaning of being a Canadian:
In 1974, …, I found myself one afternoon studying the bullet
holes in the seawall on the beach outside Dieppe, France. Later that
day I went to Pourville, where I stared in awe down a small bridge where,
32 years earlier, a group of South Saskatchewan soldiers ran into the
teeth of German machine gunfire to their death.
I couldn't understand how the soldiers did that. I didn't believe I
could muster that courage.
A couple of years later I was in Kampden, Holland, when my then girlfriend's
father told me how, in the winter of 1945, his family was trapped on
the German-controlled side of the city.
The Canadians were across the river.
His baby girl was close to death from starvation. Someone told him
that, if he could make it to a bridge during the deadly curfew, sometimes
the Canadians would smuggle food across it.
He was standing in fear and darkness in a doorway when he heard shots
ring out. He watched as bullets sparked off the bridge until, suddenly,
a man appeared with a large box in his arms. The Canadian soldier exited
the bridge, looked both ways along the street, crossed over to thrust
the box into his arms, smiled and slapped him so hard that he almost
fell over, then ran back across the bridge.
I thought of Pourville.
"That wasn't me," I said. "I couldn't do that."
"You could; you would," replied my girlfriend's father. "And
anyway, it doesn't matter. You are Canadian, and you inherited that."
For the first time I understood the great honour into which I was born.
It is something that can't be taken from me, ever. Those South Saskatchewan
Regiment boys ran across that bridge in France because they had on their
shoulders a patch that told them and told the world that they are Canadian.
This Sunday, 11 November 2012, let us truly honour our parents and grandparents.
Be a Canadian.
Show your heritage; demonstrate your courage, your grit.
Protect out Rights and Freedom – Burn your firearms licence.