Nov. 11th, 2016

siglinde99: (Diane Fancy)
Every year, I remember friends who died trying to make the world a better place. I lost a friend in Afghanistan, a colleague in Kosovo, and and one of each in Haiti. I also remember someone who I didn't know personally, but who I admire (the first Canadian woman killed in combat; I happened to be working on the Afghanistan file when she was killed, and her death touched me deeply). They represent the full range of service: a diplomat, a corrections official (because peace without justice and respect for human rights won't last); a police officer and an international development worker, as well as an infantry officer.

My own dad served in the military for 33 years and worked as a civilian for another 15 years. My mom was also in the military, as a nurse. In their hearts though, they were both hippies.

Today I am remembering a new group - my own extended family. I knew that my great-grandfather had served in WWI. More recently, I learned that he also served in WWII and continued in various roles (some of the honorary) long past normal retirement. In fact, he was the longest-serving member of the Canadian forces. I didn't know that my great-uncles also served. All four were in WWII. A cousin told me last week that there was a newspaper article at the time celebrating their service and noting that theirs was one of the few families with soldiers that didn't lose someone.

My great-uncles Leslie, Fred and Arnold are in the back row. Great-uncle Len was already serving overseas. My great-grandma and great-grandfather are in the front row. My grandmother (Dad's mom) would have already married and been raising her own family by the time this was taken.

On the other side of my extended family, I remember my cousin Ken, who I first met while he was on leave from serving in the Golan Heights, and his son Kyle, who is now on posting in Poland.


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December 2016

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