My dad served overseas for five years in the Second World War. When he finally returned I was excited and a little shy of this man who had left when I was three. I did not understand war at that age, but later I bought war stamps at school, collected clothing for the War Drive and looked forward to the day my father would come home.
Dad was very proud to have served in the war. After his discharge from the army, he received his war medals with pride and sadness. He solemnly talked of his experiences and the buddies who never made it home. These medals represented his efforts, but more importantly, they reminded him of the brave men and women who had served with him – the survivors – the wounded – the dead.
One morning I heard my dad tell my mother of the nightmares he was having. He was constantly haunted by memories of the war. I’d sometimes hear him holler out at night, as he relived the past in his dreams. He never took his life for granted. He knew how fortunate he was to have returned to his family.
This Remembrance Day as usual, I will give thanks again for those who give their lives and serve their country so bravely. I will also remember the families of veterans, and will remember our military who is serving today. Of course my thoughts will be of my dad too. When he returned to us, there was no better feeling on earth than to snuggle down at night in bed knowing that Dad was back to protect and care for us.
Many countries around the world today do not have the freedom we have in Canada. Our freedom however, came with a price. May we always remember.
– Joanne Rawluk writes from Gypsumville, Manitoba