This is the Remembrance Day long weekend in Canada. Though, November 11th is a few days past us now, I hope the sentiment you find below will stay with you for many days yet to come. I am sharing with you my November newsletter. The words, “lest we forget” are etched in my memory. I remember being a young girl, walking in my girl guide uniform at the local parade. One year in particular, I was honored to carry the Canadian flag in the parade, a task I took seriously.
The flag grew increasingly heavy as we walked past the library and the fire station. I shifted its position and held on tight, gripping the pole with my winter mittens, determined not to be defeated by the flag’s weight. Wreaths were lain, bagpipes played, and poppies adorned many a lapel.
It is a memory that stays with me and though many of our heroes have left us now, the importance of “lest we forget” feels even greater and the flag even heavier. We owe our safety, our happiness, our lives to those who fought for our freedoms. No matter how heavy the flag may feel, know that it will always be lighter for us because of them.
From the desk of Tanya E Williams…
Just over a year ago, I began my research for the historical fiction Smith Family Series…
I began with the story of John Smith, a simple man whose beliefs, character, and patriotism guided me down a path into the deep well of research that is World War II. John’s story continues to be a work in progress and my plan is to release A Man Called Smith as the third installment in the series.
During this time of discovery, I found myself immersed in the events that began, continued, and finally ended the war. I was drawn to the human element of the research and was rewarded with many harrowing tales of lives lost and battles won.
I read countless letters, listened to World News radio reports, and watched documentaries so graphic, much of the viewing was behind the shield of my own two hands. One documentary in particular stuck with me. It was an interview with men who had served in WWII and had survived.
Survival though is not all it is cracked up to be. Human survival can be so innately strong that all sense of joy or happiness no longer exists within the individual. They are left but shells of a former self. As I watched the men as old as 87 years dissolve into incoherent tears, still unable to come to terms with what they saw and experienced 70 years before, I knew that survival did not necessarily mean escape from the terror of war.
Sadly, a war touches many lives. It does not discriminate between men, women, or children. Whether a soldier’s life is lost or a family is left without a brother, sister, parent, or child, a war knows no bounds. My goal with Becoming Mrs. Smith was to show WWII from the perspective of those left at home. Their sacrifice and worry on the home front was not without turmoil.
I recently returned from a trip to Quebec where I had the great privilege of touring an active military base. I learned of a book of names located there. The names were of every fallen soldier throughout history from their company, handwritten in memory. I was deeply touched to learn that every day a soldier visits the book and reads aloud from the two facing pages, vocalizing each name with respect and gratitude. Each day the page is turned to the next one and another soldier reads those names and so on. This daily ritual is performed so that no soldier is forgotten. No sacrifice is taken for granted.
Let we forget are three little words whose impact is much larger. This November 11th, I hope you will join me in honoring, thanking, and remembering all those who sacrifice for the safety and well being of others.
Tanya E Williams
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