Mr. Gerald Gaudet, we like your style.
The Whalley resident, who was bestowed with the title of Chevalier, or knight, by France for serving in the liberation of France during the Second World War, has numerous medals pinned on his chest. But what’s beating inside, that’s where the pure gold resides.
“Life’s not about that somebody’s got to help you, it’s about who you can help,” he told this newspaper some time ago. “I wish there were more people who think the way I do.”
So do we, so do we, Chevalier.
In this day when selfishness, and whining on social media have become bloodsports, this 96-year-old war veteran pretty much has pinned down what’s really important in life. You can read more about him in reporter Amy Reid’s feature here.
Gaudet fought on Juno Beach, and later in the Battle of Caen.
As we remember on Sunday, Remembrance Day, the feats and sacrifices made by so many Canadians like him during the wars, let’s also remember those surviving veterans, like Gaudet, who despite their years still venture out into local shopping malls to collect poppy donations to help pay for worthwhile community initiatives.
Some people pass them by, distracted by their daily rush. But some people, whether they’ve experienced war or have always lived in peace, shake their hands with awe, and rightfully so.
As time marches on, fewer veterans are with us. But their spirit of sacrifice and selflessness must live on and needs to be cherished by this and future generations.
And to that end, we salute all war veterans. And not only on Remembrance Day.