Month: December 2017

On operations with G.I. Joe
Front Lines

On operations with G.I. Joe

It was the one and only Christmas I went downstairs before anyone else in the family—a grievous breach of protocol in my house, where we traditionally gathered military-style at the top of the stairs and descended together. But the Christmas I was six, or maybe it was seven, I just couldn’t wait. And for good reason because there, under the tree at 6 a.m., was the one thing I had desperately wanted: a G.I. Joe. For months, or more, I had watched the TV ads in a kind of sustained rapture: “G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe, fighting man from head to toe. On the land! On the sea! In the airrrrr!” As I recall, I didn’t get much more than a mild scolding for shirking tradition that Christmas; I was too enthralled with my new toy to notice anyway. But time, and fate, had their own way of maki...
Japanese teacher keeps alive memories of atrocities
Front Lines

Japanese teacher keeps alive memories of atrocities

For three decades, now-retired schoolteacher Tamaki Matsuoka has waged a campaign to bring truth and reconciliation to the story of Japanese atrocities during the Second World War. At the risk of her livelihood and personal safety, the woman the Chinese have dubbed The Conscience of Japan has interviewed some 250 Japanese veterans and more than 300 survivors of the Nanking Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, one of the most notorious episodes of the Second Sino-Japanese War, from 1937 to 1945. On Dec. 13, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia became the first jurisdictions outside China to mark the anniversary of the attack in which more than 200,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians, including newborns, were slaughtered and between 20,000 and 80,000 women and girls w...
Centurions of Christmas
Humour Hunt

Centurions of Christmas

– Illustration by Malcolm Jones – There’s a photo that hangs in our church taken in the early 1940s. It’s a big church in Toronto—it seats about 800 or so—with one of the largest United Church congregations in Canada. The photo was taken from up in the east side gallery looking down on the main sanctuary. Every pew below is packed to the gunnels with Canadian servicemen in uniform. It was a special service for them on the eve of their departure for the war in Europe. I look at that framed photo whenever I am in the church and it never fails to move me. I’ve attended that church for more than 50 years (I was in kindergarten when I started) and have still not been thrown out. Other than in that photo, the only other times I’ve ever seen the church filled to capacity is every Dec. 24 a...
The last PoW
O Canada

The last PoW

On Dec. 5, 1952, Andrew Robert MacKenzie was flying over North Korea in his F-86 Sabre jet when he experienced hydraulic problems. He was at 42,000 feet, in a firefight with enemy MiG jets when he was hit. “Before I could take any evasive action, my canopy was blown off,” MacKenzie said years later. “There were two strikes on my right elevator, followed by three more in rapid succession on the fuselage. I tried to break off to evade more fire, but my aircraft was out of control. I was starting to roll to the left and couldn’t stop. In a few seconds, I was barrelling to Earth. I bailed out.” Bailing at such a high speed tore off his helmet, oxygen mask, gloves, and perhaps most critically, his dog tags. It was the second time the RCAF pilot had been shot down; the first was in June 194...
The Halifax Explosion
Multi-media Features

The Halifax Explosion

Story by Sharon Adams Design by Julia Paddick After two consecutive awards at the 2016 and 2017 Canadian Online Publishing Awards, Legion Magazine proudly presents our latest interactive website: The Halifax Explosion. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion this December, the site combines historical images, an interactive map, captivating storytelling, animated graphics and other compelling elements to engage readers in this extraordinary event in Canadian history.
Military suicide rate shows increase
Front Lines

Military suicide rate shows increase

A report released by the Department of National Defence on Nov. 29 said overall military suicide rates did not increase significantly after Canada joined the war in Afghanistan in 2001, nor did they vary greatly from the general population. But the document authored by Elizabeth Rolland-Harris of the separate directorates of Force Health Protection and Mental Health gleaned its apparent good news from limited data and broad strokes. The proverbial devil is in the details. The report focused on regular force male suicides only between 1995 and 2016 and did not address suicides among former soldiers, sailors and aircrew. Female suicides were considered too rare to warrant study, and the report did not address suicides in the 27,000-member reserve force due to inadequate documentation....

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