Remembrance (2019)

Regina Airshow (1949)


Every year Remembrance Day brings me front and centre to face the death of my namesake, my
Uncle Jack.  It is always a time for me to reflect upon the sad world he lived in that finally took his life.  I also think of my own father, Jack’s older brother, who fought in the artillery in World War 1, but came home.  His stories of those years of war were few and far between in their telling, but put a record of the Black Watch Pipe Band on the turntable and he would march, in time with the music, through the rooms of our house.  No doubt he was remembering his marches on the parade square, showing off his platoon, and that was a good memory for him.  I imagine there weren’t many good memories of those war years.

I’ve written the stories, said the prayers, and told my children and grand children about my dad, my uncle and my father-in-law, and their involvement in the horrors of war.  I can’t tell what they’ve taken in, but maybe, one day, they too will understand what this day of remembrance meant to me every year.

I’ve been wondering how I’m going to ‘remember’, this year.

I think I will go to Nanton, weather permitting, to attend their Remembrance Day service. 
My Uncle Jack’s name is on the memorial stone in front of the Canadian Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, so I’ll pay my respects at that memorial and visit the museum again.  I’ll also hope to be in the company of other families with similar memories, some sad, some of wondrous thought.  Thoughts that their loved one actually came home after flying those terror-driven, risky bombing raids in a Lancaster, Wellington, or Sterling bomber.

The picture above was taken in 1949 at the Regina Airport, during an airshow.  The airplane is a WW2, P51 Mustang and the man holding the hand of the little boy with the tam is my dad with me at five years old.  I can still remember that visit to the airshow with Dad.  He never missed this sort of thing, and I—well, I was joyfully overwhelmed