Memoirs, stories, and poetry are one of the main ways we are able to remember the sacrifices made by all of the brave and selfless people who have fought to keep our country safe. This has increasingly become the case as all the veterans from the First World War are gone and more and more veterans who fought in the Second World War pass away each year. Today we remember all those veterans who are gone and thank all of those who are still here for their service and sacrifice.
This quote from CanLit legend Margaret Atwood reminds us that sometimes words can stop conflict before it happens. But when that doesn't work we're thankful there are brave men and women who step up to fight to keep our country safe.
Language -- through memoirs, stories, poetry, etc... -- is also one of the main ways we are able to remember the sacrifices made by our veterans. This has increasingly become the case as all the veterans from the First World War are gone and more and more veterans who fought in the Second World War pass away each year. Today we remember all those veterans who are gone and thank all of those who are still here for their service and sacrifice.
If you're interested in gaining more insight into the realities of a soldier's experiences and/or learning about past wars below is a selection of titles that may be of interest:
Masham Means Evening by Kanina Dawson (Coteau Books) Masham Means Evening is a poetry collection that takes the reader inside army camps, convoys, schools, markets, and villages, charting a young female soldier's tour through Canada's war in Afghanistan.
How I Won the War for the Allies by Doris Gregory (Ronsdale Press) Still sassy, Doris Gregory takes the reader back over seventy years to the time when she broke with tradition, first by publicly challenging the University of British Columbia's discrimination against women, and then by joining the Canadian Women's Army Corps.
Canadians at War:
Volume 1 and
Volume 2 by Susan Evans Shaw (Goose Lane Editions) Evans Shaw made her first visit to the battlefields of WWI in 2004, where she realized that there was a dearth of material for Canadians. Collaborating with photographer Jean Crankshaw, she created these books as a tribute to her grandfather, who was killed in action in 1918.
First in Line: The Incredible Life of Leonard Stickby Hilda Morrow & Steve Bartlett (Creative Book Publishing) Leonard Stick, a distinguished war veteran, lawman, and federal politician, was the 'first' in many historically significant events throughout his lifetime including being the first man to enlist with the Newfoundland Regiment, regional No. 1, when it was reconstructed at the outbreak of WWI.
Mac-Pap: Memoir of a Canadian in the Spanish Civil War by Ronald Liversedge
(New Star Books) Liversedge's memoir of his two years in the Mackenzie–Papineau battalion is a riveting, soldier's–eye account of life and death at the front, of the fascinating panoply of characters drawn to the Spanish struggle, of the ravages of the war on Spain and its people, and of the reasons that drove thousands of Canadians to volunteer.
The Long Run by Joan Sullivan (Breakwater Books) Sullivan tells the story of one man’s extraordinary journey through the battlefield and into history. As part of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Eric Mackenzie Robertson was at the battle at Beaumont-Hamel, then, almost unbelievably, just four years later he became the first born and bred Newfoundlander to compete in the Olympics.
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