Last Holidays for some

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

It’s sad to say this but, once again, this will be the last Holidays for a lot more vet­er­ans from World War II this year. Gone are those from the War to End All Wars, few re­main from the Sec­ond World War. We wit­ness this ev­ery Re­mem­brance Day.

This is why we can only ap­plaud the ini­tia­tive of Ju­lian Fantino, Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, to call on Cana­di­ans across the coun­try to reach out and en­gage with Vet­er­ans in their com­mu­ni­ties this hol­i­day sea­son.

His depart­ment even of­fers an in­ter­ac­tive way of send­ing elec­tronic post­cards via its web­site: vet­er­ans.gc.ca

The world’s most watched tele­vi­sion series, Down­ton Abbey, has brought back the mem­o­ries of WWI to mil­lions who never even thought about it. War is glo­ri­ous for those who don’t suf­fer from them; those who ac­tu­ally saw real com­bat, com­rades fall­ing or maimed for­ever, have a dif­fer­ent view of the whole thing, the whole bloody thing.

Com­rades we say, but for them, young as they were, they were friends. And as teenagers, most were lest we not for­get, they acted like kids their age. I was re­minded once again of this watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary a cou­ple of days ago. Those white haired ladies talk­ing to the cam­era were also the homely young women in the pho­to­graphs il­lus­trat­ing what they were do­ing dur­ing the last war. Short dresses and bathing suits. Pho­tographed in the lat­ter to send to a boyfriend on the front.

But we don’t see them like this; they are old men and women now, grand­par­ents when not great-grand­par­ents, not young­sters hav­ing fun, telling jokes, flirt­ing, be­ing madly in love. They knew that luck would be on their side, as most teenagers do, when they act crazy. Then and to­day.

When sound record­ing came to life, truly for World War Two, then came the Christ­mas songs. Top of the list was “I’ll be home for Christ­mas”, sung by Bing Crosby and then by hun­dreds of oth­ers. Yes, they were com­ing home for the Holidays, you could count on them. A lot did, but only in their dreams, never to kiss that girl in the bathing suit un­der the mistle­toe.

More rea­sons to re­mem­ber that those who served must be re­mem­bered not only in Novem­ber, but year round.

For us here at the Stanstead Jour­nal, we’ll be back in early Jan­uary. Thanks to your sup­port we can look for­ward to 2014 brightly. Proof was our sub­scrip­tion con­test that broke all dreams we may have had, twice as many par­tic­i­pants as ex­pected. So, on my be­half and those of Vic­to­ria, Mylène, Ta­nia, Tracey and Brian, our best wishes for the Holidays and the most mar­vel­lous New Year.

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