I forgot something I meant to put in yesterday’s post about VE Day.

My mother tells a story of how during the war she was a young girl living in St. Ives, Cornwall. For part of the war they had a Canadian commando billeted with them. She says he’d come home after a hard day storming ashore in rubber boats and climbing cliffs and he was quiet, polite, and he always offered to help out around the house. And he would tell them stories about his home back in Canada. She was quite impressed with this young man.

I’m sure my father had his own reasons, but my mother says that the commando’s stories were one reason why she wanted to move to Canada after they got married.

I have no idea about where the commando was from, what unit he was with, or if he survived the war. But I know that when I’m honouring the service of the soldiers who fought in the wars, I always say a silent prayer of thanks for that quiet young man, whoever he is, because without him I might have grown up British instead of Canadian. And growing up Canadian is something I’m profoundly grateful for.

2 thoughts on “Remembering”

  1. Sorry for the late reply, I just found this remembrance. I was one of the lucky people who DID meet Gordon Baxter. It was at Oshkosh 1995. He was the subject at a Forum tent, of which he had delightfully described his adventures in getting there. He told the airline ticketing agent, “I need to be in tent number 10 at 10:00!” Anyone who has ever heard Gordon speak will appreciate how he said that. Later in the day, I found him sitting at the Flying Magazine pavilion with only a few people around. He had a couple of boxes of paperback versions of his book, volumes 1 & 2, which he was selling. I told him I already had both of them in hardcover. He told me never to sell them; then he took out a couple of business cards, signed them and told me to put them in the books. Later when I got home, I glued the cards onto the inside covers of both books. I do miss reading his columns; even more so, I wish I could find him once again in Tent number 10 at 10:00.

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