So many years ago

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Do­ing the his­tory this week, we be­came aware how far from re­al­ity we some­times are. Do­ing 1914 and 1939 dur­ing the week when we are cel­e­brat­ing VE-Day’s 70th an­niver­sary is a stark re­minder of how peace is a pre­cious gift that can dis­ap­pear at a mo­ment’s no­tice.

It’s hard to find in this news­pa­per’s ar­chives hints that the world would know its blood­i­est war in 1914. And a mere twenty years later, it’s the Royal visit to Sher­brooke that is on people’s minds. Mind you, The Stanstead Jour­nal was the ‘Face­book of the day’ back then, so if some­one was go­ing to Sher­brooke to see His Majesty in June 1939 he was bound to have his trip chron­i­cled in our pages.

5 years later, on the June 8th 1944 is­sue, there is no men­tion of the VE-Day, but an hon­our roll, list­ing the dead and those still serv­ing is­sued by the Legion, who asked if rel­a­tives could sup­ply the ranks of those listed.

That 2014 strangely re­sem­bled 1914 and 1939, with the in­va­sion of smaller coun­tries, in­ter­nal med­dling in the demo­cratic process, so called in­ter­nal ‘calls for help’, brings back a word long for­got­ten: An­schluss.

Canada is at the fore­front of the re­sis­tance move­ment against the men­ac­ing views of Vladimir Putin. As a pun­dit ex­plained, this has a lot less to do with pu­rity of sen­ti­ment, some­thing sorely lack­ing in Pres­i­dent Harper’s govern­ment, but rather to the pres­ence of lit­er­ally hun­dreds of thou­sands of Cana­di­ans of Ukrainian de­scent.

There were not too many souls who be­lieved that the world would go to war in the early sum­mers of 1914 and 1939. You knew where your neighbor had gone or was go­ing to, at which hospi­tal he was treated and had no idea that, in a cou­ple of months, hun­dreds would be called from the re­gions to serve King and Coun­try, as it was called then.

Let’s hope that we have a nice sum­mer and an even bet­ter fall.

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