Remembrance

Shipping out
Our Veterans, Remembrance

Shipping out

No matter what era, the moment when a soldier ships out is laden with bittersweet emotion—excitement, uncertainty, pride and trepidation For soldiers and those they leave behind, shipping out is all about goodbyes. Iconic photographs of wartime goodbyes the world over tend to focus on loved ones—family and friends massed dockside to bid farewell to waving soldiers swarming a ship’s deck; American soldiers and sailors, filled with bravado, kissing their girls on the steam-clouded platforms of New York’s Penn Station; troops milling about on a tarmac, waiting with stoicism to board a transport flight while family members wave from behind barriers. Mothers and fathers, wives and sweethearts, family and friends. Perhaps no goodbye is more wrenching than that of a son or daughter. Cana...
Service & Devotion
Remembrance

Service & Devotion

My father, Harry Culley, never talked much about the war, I think because he felt he got off easy compared to many others. He seemed to be embarrassed that he wasn’t a heroic pilot flying missions over enemy skies, or a gunner at the front facing the Germans. He served as a musician, occupying, in his opinion, a lower rung in the military hierarchy. Some of his fellow bandmates made self-deprecating comments about their status, such as Al Smith who said that he “fought Hitler with his French horn.” During the Depression years, Harry cobbled together part-time jobs to make a living. By day he was a bookkeeper at a smoke shop on Yonge Street in Toronto. By night he played saxophone and clarinet in downtown venues such as the Savarin Club and the Royal York Hotel. When the war started...
Artist shows hidden wounds of war
Remembrance

Artist shows hidden wounds of war

Senior posters first place   Intermediate posters first place   Junior posters first place   Primary posters first place Sixteen-year-old Anggun Rabu noticed something when she began looking into commemorative poster art related to Canadian veterans: the wounded they depicted were most often the victims of physical injuries. Rabu, a Grade 12 student from Abbotsford, B.C., who’s been painting since she was nine, decided to make a poster on the theme of mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder. The compelling result of her efforts, a disjointed portrait of a navy veteran and his memories, won first place in the senior colour category of the National Poster and Literary Contests of the Legion National Foundation...
Victory in the Pacific
Military History, Pictorial, Remembrance

Victory in the Pacific

The defeat of Japan brought horror and joy after years of conflict The war was over. The writing had been on the wall ever since American navy pilots gutted the Japanese fleet at Midway on June 4-7, 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, sinking four enemy aircraft carriers and turning the tide of conquest in the Pacific. After a bloody island-hopping campaign that began at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942 and worked its way northward, the end came swiftly in a cloud of radioactive dust. The atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 marked the dawn of the nuclear age, a harbinger of the fears—and perhaps a lifesaving lesson—that underscored the Cold War in the decades after. The justification for the nuclear attac...
Survivors in turmoil
Pictorial, Remembrance

Survivors in turmoil

Six years of war in continental Europe was drawing to a close but for many, if not most, victory was bittersweet—and defeat was devastating. Up to 40 million people in Europe were dead, the vast majority of them non-combatants, and as many as 11 million refugees wandered the wasted landscape. Entire cities were in ruin, infrastructure had been destroyed and governments dissolved. Retribution for the death and suffering imposed by Hitler’s legions and their collaborators was foremost in the minds of some.
History repeats
Pictorial, Remembrance

History repeats

There are two certainties in war: death and suffering. Flag-raisings might be another. Flags declare victory, as Red Army troops did (below) in raising the Hammer and Sickle over the Reichstag in Berlin on May 2, 1945. The flag, originally symbolizing the alliance of workers and peasants, was used in the Second World War as a sign of resistance against Nazism. This staged and altered photograph was composed at the request of Soviet premier Josef Stalin in the wake of the famous Joe Rosenthal photo of American Marines raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima, Japan, a few months previous. Like the Iwo Jima flag-raising (which was not staged), the Hammer and Sickle picture was used as propaganda, to send a message, inspire and reassure soldiers and the populace at large that the good fight was b...