We will remember them.

That’s the phrase we’ve come to know over the years attending Remembrance Day services.  It is not a bad thing to acknowledge our need to remember.  A kind of yearly post-it note.  We will, I will remember them.

Remembering “them” of course is kind of generic.  I do not have any relatives that have served directly in the Armed Forces which is strange seeing that up to my Grandpa Waters all the male Waters were officers in the Royal Marines.  But Grandpa Waters never became a Royal Marine – he met and joined The Salvation Army instead.  I think his heart was certainly with those who served as evidenced by the clipping from the Hamilton Spectator.  Grandpa Waters was too old to enlist so he ended up serving in the Red Shield Services in Petawawa.  The Base at Petawawa is still very active and a significant location for troops and training.

There were many who served the troops during WW2.  General Clarence Wiseman left his young family behind and served for 5 years overseas.

My Dad often recounted the years he lived in Petawawa – in fact despite those being war years – I think he might have said they were some of his favourite years.  Certainly he always seemed energized by the memories in being surrounded by the military culture and his Dad’s role on the base.  Certainly he remembered them.

So we salute all who have given of themselves in a heroic manner – all those who set aside personal comfort, ambition and fear and were willing and able to be selfless.

One final note – if you check warmuseum.ca you will find that you can see some of the uniforms and isignia that the Salvation Army Officers wore on Red Shield Services.  In this second photo, one I’ve posted before, you’ll see my Grandpa Waters (with his wife and son which is my Dad) in his khaki uniform.

Grandpa Waters served at Camp Petawawa

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