Letter writers wonder about the significance of Remembrance Day services.

Remembrance Day reflections

What do the memorial services mean to modern generations?

Re: The Nov. 11 memorial service at the Whalley Legion cenotaph.

Why were some of the people even there? They talked and visited with all those “friends” they probably talk to all the time anyway. Did they know why they were there?

As an elder citizen, I  was there to give thanks not only to my father, who served in the First World War at Vimy Ridge, and for my brother who served in the tank force in Holland during the Second World War, but also for my husband, brothers-in-law, and all the men and women who gave their service and lives to keep our great nation free.

Please everyone. Rethink why you go to these services. Please say it isn’t just to say you attended.

J. Shenton

 

Have lessons from the hardships of war been lost to technology?

What did modern day civilization learn in the fight for freedom?

Each Remembrance Day service I wonder what life would be like today if it were not for these brave aging wartime heroes. I think of the many soldiers who gave their all so we could live.

My thoughts slip back to the five dark years (1940-45), living under the tyranny of a ruthless oppressor named Adolf Hitler.

I am reminded of screeching air planes, bombings, V-1 missiles, ruthless killings, fierce hunger and bitter-cold living conditions.

I recall the skeleton figures and hollow faces of people who came begging for food where there was none, and my mother’s eyes swimming in tears when my sister almost died of malnutrition.

I can never forget when our own school was bombed out and we had to walk 30 minutes to a little country school. One day, after three bombing attacks within the hour, my youngest brother and I escaped from school and kept racing through rocks and debris in the smoldering town, trying to find our parents.

We saw dead people and our friend Theo screaming as he was put in an ambulance with a chunk of bomb fragment sticking out of his leg.

We saw our home. It was not bombed but had holes all over it. We peeked through the shattered windows. Where was our Mom?

We did find our Mom embracing my four brothers and sister huddled under the kitchen table, all alive. Dad and three brothers were in hiding already.

Mom hugged us for what seemed an eternity.

May 5, 1945 was the happiest day of our lives when Allied soldiers rolled in their tanks to end five years of living hell under Nazi rule.

The five-year war had snuffed out the lives of 55 million civilians and military personnel.

At times I do wonder, however, about living in a world today where we have been to the moon numerous times, have modern technologies with Internet, cellphones, computers and the use of airwaves placed at our fingertips, yet we have less time to spare to help the needy.

Yes, indeed, what did mankind learn?

 

Gertie Pool

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