Not just soldiers – Remembrance Day

A lighthouse sitting on grey rocks at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Cape Spear, Newfoundland. In the Second World War, it was a coastal defence battery protecting the entrance to St. John’s Harbour.

Wednesday is Remembrance Day (yesterday was National Aboriginal Veterans Day). It’s when we honour members of our armed forces who have died in the line of duty as well as those who have served in wars, peacekeeping missions and other international military engagements. It’s a day to say thanks but it’s also a time to hear the stories of the men and women who have served. They are and were people too – not just soldiers.  

I recently finished writing a memoir for a family who have roots in Banff. The patriarch, Ed Carleton, fought in the Second World War with the Calgary Highlanders. During my research, I was immersed in the details of the war, following the Highlanders’ journey from Calgary, to training, to the battlefields of Europe and, for some soldiers, their return to Calgary on Nov. 25, 1945.

I used interviews from Highlander George A. Morasch, a Second World War veteran, for a look into army life. George is still telling his stories and was supposed to be part of the Government of Canada’s official delegation to the Netherlands for the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands and V-E Day. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, the trip planned for last May was postponed.

You can hear George talk about his experiences in this video by Michael Vernon.

Ed Carleton’s Second World War experiences are now in ebook form. Click here for Ed and Dorothy: Rocky Mountain Romance.