Remembering

Many of us have paid our respects today, in one form or another, to those who have served their country.

I always remember the boys that flew in Lancaster II LL637 EQ-P during WWII. To me they are family and despite never knowing them in person I know them quite well through my research. I feel very privileged to know them and through my research I will never forget them.

WWI however, I know little about, but that is slowly changing by volunteering my time at my local museum. We are busily working on a trench display, preparing for next year, when we look back 100 years.

Volunteering my time is great fun and I work with a wonderful bunch of people. Old and young come together when volunteering and I think that is an important part of remembering. There is always someone who can fill you in on a time well before your own and make it come alive through their own excitement of sharing their experiences. Often those older volunteers have been through quite a bit and have first hand knowledge of what wars are really like.

As we see the end of another Remembrance Day, I not only remember those that have fallen but those who live on and those who volunteer their time to help us make Remembrance special.

Thank you.

Poppies

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

I am very busy this week so I am only getting around to this now.  I will explain more next week.

 In the mean time this is my recent read.

 I had the honour to meet the author on the weekend and got the book signed so it was a super day and the book was a great read!

A good fit for the weekly challenge as he quotes at the end…

“For your tomorrow

They gave their today”

It’s a Privilege, Sir: Remembering on Remembrance Day

I have had the privilege to interview a few war veterans for my own research as well as for my volunteer work doing Oral History interviews for my local museum. I’m often surprised at how veterans can look back at war and still find humour and brightness amongst the dark. Perhaps it is the resilience of youth that got them through the rough times. Whatever the case, I have found each and every one of them inspiring men. It is not necessarily what they have done in war but their strength of character to carry on that intrigues me and captures my heart.

The men of EQ-P, whom I remember today, were not so lucky as to have survived the war but they too have captured my heart. Up until a couple of years ago I did not really know them. I only knew one by name, he being my cousin, the others were not even a name. They were unknown entities. I knew them as nothing more than six other men my relative served with and that is all. Today that is no longer the case. Each one is a person I can fondly remember.

In a time when few of us now remember the fallen through first hand knowledge it is more important than ever to do more than the obligatory respectful one or two minutes silence for those who died for our freedom. Why? It is hard to feel the emotional impact of each life lost if we do not know those we are standing silent for. A name does not mean much without putting something more substantial behind it. Let them not be just a name. Let the silence mean something more than just being respectful.

This year and in all my years to come, I will remember the boys of EQ-P. May they live once again through my research. 

Another year not forgotten. 

Another year remembered with love.

 

In Memory of the Boys of EQ-P of 408 ‘Goose’ Squadron

The boys of Lancaster Mk II LL637 EQ-P died on the night of March 15 1944, on an operation to Stuttgart, Germany. They are buried in Hilsenheim Communal Cemetery in Hilsenheim, France.

Norman Andrew Lumgair (Norm) was a Farm Lad from Manitoba, Canada. With nerves of steel he became the Pilot of the crew. Known for dressing up with a bow tie, even as a school boy, he loved to impress the girls. He died on his sixth Op at the age of 21.

 Douglas Cruickshank (Jock) was a RAF serviceman from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. He entered the RAF before the outbreak of war. After serving his country in South Africa he later returned to the UK to become a Flight Engineer. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 22.

 William Taylor (Bill) was a Farm Lad from Saskatchewan, Canada. Even before he left school he wanted to serve his country. Although he wished to be a pilot he was to become the Bomb Aimer of the crew. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 23.

 George Parker was a Teacher and Coal Truck Driver from Alberta, Canada. With his educational background he became the Navigator. A loving husband, he wrote his wife everyday he was overseas. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 28. He left behind his wife and two young children.

 William Lawrence Doran (Larry) was a Mucking Machine Operator from British Columbia, Canada. As a Wireless Operator he was the link to the outside world. He had a strong interest in Journalism and was well thought of within his local community. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 29. He left behind his wife.

 Robert Henry Hudson (Bob) worked for a surfacing company in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. He was always the boy with a smile on his face. As the Mid Upper Gunner he had a cold job. He died on his fifth Op at age 19.

 Robert George Alfred Burt (Bud) was a Machine Operator in a Shoe Factory in Ontario, Canada. As the Tail Gunner of the crew he had the coldest and most isolated position. He is fondly remembered as the teasing older brother. He died on his first Op at age 19.

They served together, they died together but they are remembered forever in our hearts.

 

The following poem was written by William Taylor’s sister.

The following are a few links to Remembrance Day videos on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq5hFrb7b_E

Bryan Adams – Remembrance Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kX_3y3u5Uo

Terry Kelly – A Pittance of Time

A Remembrance Day Challenge

 The Story

On the way home from work one day a number of people sat on a city bus waiting for their stop to arrive. It seemed as though it would be a day that would finish like any other. One man however, had noticed that there was a veteran on board. The uniform was a dead give away that the soldier was in the forces but it was the colourful bar on his chest that told the story of the places he had been. This was not an elderly man who had served in a bygone war nor a youthful boy fresh from training but one who had been overseas many times and was still currently serving his country.

At some point the bus rider made a momentous decision. Just before his stop he made the choice to get up and make his way to where the veteran was sitting. He stopped beside the soldier, thanked him for his service and shook his hand before leaving the bus. He made the soldier’s day. The veteran came home to his wife feeling good about himself and wore a smile that did not leave his face for the rest of the evening.

It took but a moment to say thank you but the soldier and his wife still remember the kindness of that stranger and well over a year has passed.

The Challenge

Find a way to make a veteran’s day, let them not be forgotten this week. 

Ideas to help you along on your challenge:

1) Like the true story above, thank a veteran.

2) Buy a veteran a cup of tea, coffee or a meal and take a moment to share in their life.

3) Research a veteran you know nothing about and then share the information with someone else.  (For example give the person’s name, show a picture and share a paragraph or two about what you found out about them.)

4) Tell someone about why a relative or a friend who served in a war is special to you.

5) Do a chore for the veteran so that he or she can spend that time with their family or doing something that is important to them.

6) Write a special “thank you” message or poem to a veteran or even to your local legion/RSL.

The Point

The point is to let a veteran (alive or passed on) know you care and remember them beyond their name, beyond a picture, beyond the day!

Make a difference. That is the goal.

 Be inventive, be spontaneous or plan it out.

Whatever you do leave me a message about it!