While the Remembrance Day ceremonies are now over for another year, there are lasting effects from them.
It hurts to think of all the suffering that has been endured because of wars over the years. The First World War veterans are gone and the number of Second World War veterans is getting pretty sparse with those living now in their 90s.
What some had to endure was brutal and some of the modern day veterans — who much like their predecessors, don’t like to talk about what they experienced — saw things that can never be unseen.
In the Stephenville, Port au Port Peninsula area there are five Second World War veterans who are still alive. At least one of them lied about his age to get into the military because he was 16 years old at the time. Even he is in his 90s.
All these men: Richard Gallant, Richard Alexander, Richard Brinston, all living in Stephenville; Hugh Campbell, living in Kippens and Ignatius Flynn of West Bay have been stalwart citizens since they returned from war and carved out their own lives in the communities they lived.
Each year people line up at either the cenotaph in Stephenville or an alternate indoor facility at Memorial Day and Remembrance Day to honour those who have fought for our freedom and to live in a democratic country.
During the World Wars and the Korean Conflict soldiers went off to fight not only to ensure the freedom of people in this country but to liberate those in other countries who were at risk or who perhaps had lost everything.
Wars and conflicts continue to this day in many countries and everyone hopes there will never be another world war. While there was a phrase “the war to end all wars” in reference to the First World War, that has been proven false and with the uncertainty that exists in today’s political unrest, anything could happen.
There are lots of countries around the world currently with wars or conflicts and sadly a lot of them are recording deaths that are in the thousands almost up to the tens of thousands. Fortunately Canada and North America has no wars taking place right now.
We are in one of the safest countries in the world at this time and no matter what happens in the future there is a true need to reflect, not only during Remembrance Week, but all throughout the year about what our military has done for us and what future soldiers, if called upon, will do to continue to defend this country.