A recent tour to Glasgow Scotland for the world association of newspapers conference was an action-packed three-day schedule of speakers from around the globe. Working along the theme of “you only live once,” we decided to take in some sights in London, England before flying home.
A relatively quick train ride from north to south, showed what the countryside had to offer. Lush fields, spring lambs, herds of cattle and majestic scenery reminded us of home. Place names, statues and the lay of land connected the dots from Old World to new.
Canada is in many ways a reflection of Europe – this country being very much an infant in historical terms.
After checking out many sites on a bus tour, it was the appointed time to attend the Churchill Underground exhibit. It was left much as it was the day the war ended.
A gifted orator with an ability to ‘mobilize the English language and send it into battle’ as Edward Murrow once opined, Churchill rallied his own people and the balance of the free world to beat back fascism. It was no easy feat.
It was a moving experience to traipse through the winding corridors of the bunker, knowing 75 years earlier to the day, the war room would have been buzzing with activity making final plans for the invasion just one day later.
Although the tour was very good, visitors needed to remember that snapshot in time was part of a day. Churchill led the country for 5 years – some 1,800 days of struggle and unnerving circumstances.
During those years over a million Canadians served their country, supporting England and other allies. Some 42,000 lost their lives. Another 55,000 were wounded. Canada’s contribution to the war effort was generous and admirable.
Thursday, June 6, happened to be a travel day home. Somewhere along the way that day a colleague pointed to a post on the Advertiser website. Erin air cadets from the 242 Ross Ferguson Squadron laid a wreath at the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery on June 6 to mark 75th anniversary of D-Day. The cemetery is the final resting place of 2,048 soldiers, predominantly Canadians, killed in the early stages of the Normandy invasion in 1944.
Of course, war is not something to be celebrated. On these occasions, the beneficiaries of freedom pay homage to those who perished and sacrificed their own lives and health so future generations would not befall the grip of oppression that too many regimes still utilize today.
Seeing the Wellington County flag at a D-Day anniversary commemoration in France was a proud moment for residents here and the cadet group who attended.
Thank you to organizers and cadets who represented Wellington at this memorial.