Tag Archives: World War II

A Dwindling Generation

There are 30,000 of them left. Ten years from now there may be 5,000. In twenty years time, none. Canada’s Second Word War veterans are dwindling as age catches up with them. The European portion of the war ended 75 years ago today. It is a milestone anniversary, but there aren’t the big public celebrations […]

Voice of Tolerance

Sometimes there are little surprises. Ties to history you didn’t realize were there. I was walking along the main street of my wife’s ancestral home town, Lippstadt, in northern Germany. It was there I cam across this bust. I recognized the name, Martin Niemöller. I hadn’t realized he was from Lippstadt. Niemöller was a pastor […]

The Never-Ending War

I was looking back through the archives for a “Flashback Friday” post yesterday, and came across this one from September 2014 that I though was worth sharing again. A century later, it haunts them still. The last Canadian veteran of the First World War died in 2010, and I would imagine that is pretty much […]

A Newer Ruin

  In a land where the ruins can be a couple of thousand years old, a 20th century relic doesn’t stands out. This German pillbox, part of the World War Two coastal defence system, is on the edges of Monterosso al Mare, one of the villages of Italy’s Cinque Terre region. It serves as a […]

An Anniversary Somewhat Forgotten

It ended seventy-nine years ago today, though they probably didn’t know it was the last day. They expected the bombers back to continue the Battle of Britain. As they had every day since July 10, 1940, Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe, had bombed British targets. Unprepared for war, the few fighter pilots of the […]

Remembering The Battle

It has been 75 years since D-Day, and the generation that fought that battle is almost gone. This week though, we have been remembering a pivotal moment in world history with a series of posts I write five years ago. When we visited the Juno Beach Centre I came away with a feeling of not […]

Still Politically Incorrect

This week, to share in the observance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Allied invasion or Normandy, I am repeating some posts from my visit there five years ago, The words jumped out from the printed page in the display case at the Juno Beach Centre, the Canadian D-Day Museum in Courseilles sur […]

Walking Along Juno Beach

With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings tomorrow, we continue our reflections with a post from 2014. It’s peaceful on Juno Beach on a sunny July afternoon. A few tourists, a few locals getting some sun; if I had been thinking I would have taken off my shoes and socks and dipped my toes […]

Facing The Storm

I just realized that the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy landings is this week. I found visiting the landing sites, which I did in 2014, to be an incredibly moving experience. It was on that trip that I decided to share my thoughts regularly in this space.  For the next couple of days, […]

Fighting For Colmar – III

One aspect of the military cemetery in the hills above Colmar and Sigolsheim that I hadn’t considered before was just who fought in the Second World War battles to liberate France. I guess that is a bit of Canadian blindness on my part. Canadian war cemeteries, or at least the ones I have visited, have […]