As a U.S. Marine I was frequently invited to the Canadian Legion to share quality Canadian beer and listen to veterans' stories of WW2. One in particular stands out.
The people of Ermelo, Netherlands liberated by Canadians, “B” Squadron of the Strathcona's on April 17th 1945.
Many Dutch citizens hid downed allied pilots and created an underground transportation system to reunite the fliers with their unit.
The Nazis terrorized villages for years, raping, killing at will, starving many to death.
The veterans with whom I had the honor and privilege to become friends, remembered the atrocities they encountered. Many were in units which liberated death camp survivors.
Teaching World History to teenagers, many disbelieved that one group of human beings could inflict such heinousness on others. Then they viewed the footage taken by the liberating Canadians, British and Americans.
Wearing a poppy today isn't enough, we must educate while honoring those who sacrificed the ultimate, their lives to free Europe from Nazi control.
A contractor who did our renovations shared many stories around morning coffee about his Dutch town being under Nazi control and how days would go by when they didn't have food. His parents hid British pilots on several occasions and helped the officers navigate the underground system back to Britain. He remembers fondly the day the Canadians liberated them forcing the Germans back. It was so emotional for him that tears weld in his eyes and he often said he thought he would die.
Our thanks to CBC for this coverage of Remembrance Day Ceremonies.
Bill "Superfoot" Wallace
Thank you SuperFoot and back at you! Your training session with our high school Karate team at the World Karate Tournament in Tacoma, Washington is a fond memory which will be with all of us as we continue to navigate this thing called Life using Martial Arts skills to negotiate the good and bad times. U.S. Marine Corp.
My friend Sgt. Johnny Hoberg
Johnny Hoberg was a U.S. Air Force Pararescue Sgt. Johnny flew as a gunner on the Jolly Green Giant helicopters rescuing downed pilots in the China Sea. He was on the astronaut rescue team for the U.S. space program, jumping in the water to secure the capsule.
He flew in the rescue plane accompanying then Lynden Johnson in case Air Force One went down.
Appreciation to Etsy for the photo.
On a mission over Vietnam, Johnny was lowered from the JGG on a cable to recover the nose camera of a CIA Spy plane. While retrieving the device, Vietcong fired on the helicopter, knocking it out of the air. One of the rotor blades caught Johnny and took off his face. He was rescued and spent months in recovery.
Sgt. Johnny Hoberg is died as a civilian and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.
On this and every Remembrance Day Sgt. this Marine salutes you. Oorah Johnny!
Germany declared war on Britain September 9, 1939 as culmination of their plan to control all of Europe.
"The Raid on Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. Some method had to be found to create a foothold on the continent, and the Raid on Dieppe offered invaluable lessons for the successful D-Day invasion in 1944, saving countless lives in that momentous offensive.
Our appreciation to Alamy for the photo
Canadians made up the great majority of the attackers in the raid. Nearly 5,000 of the 6,100 troops were Canadians. The remaining troops consisted of approximately 1,000 British Commandos and 50 American Rangers. The raid was supported by eight Allied destroyers and 74 Allied air squadrons, eight belonging to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Although extremely valuable lessons were learned in the Raid on Dieppe, a steep price was paid. Of the 4,963 Canadians who embarked for the operation, only 2,210 returned to England, and many of these were wounded.
There were 3,367 casualties, including 1,946 prisoners of war; 916 Canadians lost their lives.
Read details of the raid from the Veterans' Affairs Archives https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/1942-dieppe-raid