I don’t know where my father or my mother were 60 years ago on May 7 and May 8. But I bet they were dancing in the streets with the rest of the Free World when Nazi Germany surrendered in 1945, and a big part of the greatest conflict known to mankind came to an end.
I know that my father was in Europe at that time with his Canadian Comrades, with whom he sailed to England. And from there, they fought in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.
Never surrendering an inch. Always moving forward. Always driving to victory.
Months before the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, my dad, Private (Eddy) Israel Galganov with his Band Of Brothers stormed the beaches of Sicily.
That was when Canada stood for something.
Together, Anne and I stood today (NOVEMBER 11) at Place du Canada in Montreal, where my father used to march with his shiny medals.
It was a cold, windy, and sunny day. And like every November 11th, from my earliest recollections, I stood clapping my hands together as hard as I could in tribute to the Band Of Canadian Brothers who marched past.
It’s too bad that the Mayor of Montreal (Gerald Tremblay) had more important things to do than pay tribute to the memory of the fallen Canadian Heros, and those who are still alive: all of whom are responsible for his freedom.
I wept thinking about the bravery of these Heros, and how much we could never repay them for what they’ve done. But I also wept for what the generations since these Heros have done to the Canadian spirit, that once made Canada the great country the world admired.
Now I think about Canada’s political appeasers and conciliators. About Prime Ministers Lester B Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who stole the glory that once was Canada.
And I think about former Prime Minister (disgraced) Jean Chretien, who abrogated the honor of Parliament Hill and the Prime Minister’s Office in the scandals of his making.
And I weep for the memory of Canada’s Heros who beat the enemy at our door. Only to be defeated by the enemy within.
I think about my dad and my mom, both of whom wore the Canadian uniform when it counted most.
Anne and I stood at Place du Canada clapping our hands together as hard as we could, seeing the ghost of my father marching with his chin held high, alongside his Band Of Brothers.
And from Place du Canada, Anne and I drove to the cemetery where my parents are buried side by side. And upon a new Canadian flag which I plant every year on Father’s Day, I affixed the Poppy I wore to cheer Canada’s Heros at Place du Canada.
In this way, at the very least, I am amongst Heros who bring me back to a time when Canada meant something.
May our memory of them and their deeds of glory never fade.
May we wish our soldiers and Heros who are now serving our nation in places like Afghanistan nothing but the best.
And may we thank the Americans most of all, for their courage and sacrifice in keeping the world safe.
I WILL NEVER FORGET!
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