Moose Country Minute – November 5 2016



It was almost two weeks ago that I watched a live CBC segment of Gov, Gen. David Johnston receiving the first poppy for the Legion’s 2016 Remembrance Day campaign.

The first poppy always reminds me of my father, Matt, long gone from my life, because his birthday falls in late October, and because he was a survivor of Bomber Command, having logged many bombing missions over Germany during the Second World War.

He came back a different man, I am told. Too many memories eroded the joy in his life.

I have talked here about Bonokoski Lake in northern Saskatchewan, my father’s home province, and how it was named after his cousin and best friend, Daniel, who never returned from serving in Bomber Command.

He is buried in the British war cemetery in Berlin, not far from where he was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire, his name now barely readable on the tombstone.

By the way, there is great pike fishing in Bonokoski Lake, if you can manage to get there.

They’ll attack anything that is thrown at them.

My father would have turned 98 the other day, which tells me how old I must be getting.

He died when he was only 61, on Father’s Day of all days, of yet another heart attack.

I think about him a lot, but especially as Remembrance Day approaches, and old vets from the Second World War grow scarcer by the day.

No one lives forever, but God bless the ones who try.

And God bless young men like my father who, at 23, found himself in the belly of a Lancaster bomber.

It could not have been easy.


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