Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I mentioned in a previous blog that the people of Ypres (Ieper ) Belgium have, since 1928, held a nightly ceremony at the Menin Gate to commemorate the fallen of WW1. Once a year, on Nov. 11 at 11:00 am, we stop for two minutes to remember those mostly very young men and women who innocently, patriotically went off to “do their duty” for King and country, one in ten never to return, and all the other soldiers in other conflicts, some still ongoing. Those who haven’t seen Terry Kelly’s poignant music video about the real meaning of those two minutes of homage should have a look at “A Pittance of Time”.
Through my novels, I’ve been told that I’ve contributed to a deeper understanding of the “war to end all wars”. My books are not war novels, per se, but are about the people caught up in the cataclysm - young men who become aviators, soldiers, front-line medics, and their wives, sweethearts, sisters who endure their own hardships as ambulance drivers and nurses, as well as those anxiously waiting on the home front, who also made enormous contributions. It is by seeing the war through the eyes of individuals that we can truly understand the life-altering consequences of that tumultuous time. As one of my fans recently commented: “I attended the War Museum in Ottawa and with your characters in mind, I could see Chas flying high in his plane! Attaching a soul to the stories and pictures we looked at brought a whole new human meaning to me. It was no longer something we learned about once in school - it had a face, a life, a love, and a tragedy.”
The photo above was taken at the impressive Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France.