To Bernie and the Vets

Standard

November 11th, 2010

The above photo card was a friend of my grandfather’s whose name was Bernie. He had no family and was a great companion to Grampy Knight until he died in the trenches in WWI. Grampy always told me if anything happened to him to look after Bernie’s picture so someone would always remember. I still have it today.

When the sun rises today in Canada it becomes the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge. Today should be nothing short of a day of respect for the men and women that have and continue to fight for our countries.

 

ai1

Carleton Place Remembrance Day parade photo that hangs in the lobby of the old Mississippi Hotel

 

As a child my father and grandfather would don their dress overcoats, berets, their war medals and proudly march with their fellow war heroes behind the flag bearer of The Cowansville Canadian Legion Branch Number 99 on November 11th. The photo of Bernie was always kept in a business envelope in my Grandfather’s upper right pocket.

Grampy Knight had fought with the British Army in WWI in France and had been one of the first soldiers to be poisoned with mustard gas in the trenches. My father had participated in WWII with the Canadian Army and his greatest disappointment was that I never followed suit.


As a child I would always march in the Remembrance Day parade with the Brownies and then later the Girl Guides. We would stand on the frozen front lawn of Cowansville High School and listen to speeches and see the widows place their wreaths on the cenotaph.

dad (1).jpg
Branch 99 of the Cowansville Legion that my Dad and grandfather marched in year-Photo from Ville de Cowansville

At 11 am the lonely sound of the “Last Post” played with the mandatory two minute silence following. It was always so deathly quiet you could hear the ghosts of the dead soldiers whisper.  In the previous weeks the Legion members would sell poppy badges that everyone still wears in Canada to remember all those who were lost in the wars.

 

ai8
Photos of a collection photos of my grandfather and friends from WWI – Cowansville, Quebec newspaper with my Grandfather F.J. Knight in the middle. (2001)


Each November 11th we would stand and solemnly recite the poem “In Flanders Fields” and I remember it like yesterday.  The poem was written by Canadian John McCrae and my grandfather had met him during the war and the poem was written upon a scrap of paper on the back of Colonel Lawrence Cosgrave in the trenches. He wrote it during a lull in the bombings on May 3, 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, the day before.


It was first published on December 8, 1915 in Punch magazine, in London, England and became a poem that is has always been related to war heroes like Bernie. 
If anyone after reading this poem does not understand what our military goes through everyday, then please watch the video. Even though some of my memory blows through the wind now, I can still remember every word of that poem by heart. I remember them for Bernie.

Now today we remember The Battle of Vimy Ridge– one hundred years ago.

historicalnotes

I am proud to say that my Grandfather Frederick J. Knight was one of the founding members of Branch 99 of the Canadian Legion in Cowansville, Quebec.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Advertisements

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s