It is said war changes everything, but it does leave something behind besides the sadness and grief for all the wasted lives and the rubble of destroyed civilizations. This is the time of year; we remember the disaster and deaths of WWII.
But it is also a time to reflect on the positives that it gave our generation as we appear to be headlong in the same direction with the turmoil and destruction all over the world.
I want to, just for a moment, I would like to share the goodness that came to me and my family after the War and share a few pictures. Our Dad certainly was changed by the war and survived the sinking of one (if not two) Minesweepers on which he served – in one case only he and the cook survived. He never discussed the war, nor did he even want the medals he so much deserved – it was all too tragic.
Our mom, a war bride left her native Scotland with our two-and-a-half-year-old sister and had to adjust to a lifestyle completely different, among people that were foreign to her. She also changed and learned a whole new way of life bringing four more children into the world then died very young.
They both raised us as best they could, and while we were not rich, we did not do without, and we all did well. We were well blessed with a mom who loved us all and did without much to ensure we were cared for and happy. Our dad, although stern and reserved (most likely, because of his war years) was always there for us and encouraged us to be ourselves and do well, while he toiled as an electrician at Bowater’s newsprint mill, (perhaps dreaming of being at sea again).
So, as we remember, let us reflect on the blessings that we received growing up in a world and society that provided us a lifestyle and livelihood previously unseen in history. We do not have to agree on everything that happens around us, but we do not have to destroy the governments, the structures, and the civilization that we helped build, because we do not like some things that are happening.
Most importantly, we do not have bow down and glorify those that would steal our minds and hearts to achieve their ambitions for themselves. Hitler convinced the majority of German citizens, that he knew best for everyone, when all he knew and wanted was to control everyone else for his own psychotic needs.
In almost every free country we are facing the same choices today when, in the end, those types of choices will only lead to disaster.
People themselves know what is best for them, and if nothing else, we have proven that democracy, even with its inbuilt flaws, works better than any autocracy driven by one who thinks he knows best. That is the gift WWII Veterans, both those who lost their lives and survived, left us.
LET US NOT FORGET!
Written by William Pardy
November 11rd, 2022