I never had the pleasure of meeting my grandfather, William (Billy) Chaisson. He died when he was around the age I am now, in an explosion at the military barracks at the Goose Bay Air Force Base in Labrador.
He was a mechanic for the Canadian Armed Forces. My grandfather did not die in battle, but he died away from home in a horrible way leaving behind a young son and daughter (my mother), and a pregnant wife.
Growing up, Mom told us about how her father enlisted in the army before he was old enough to do so. He was still a kid when he went away to fight for Canada in World War II.
He must have been so scared, forced to become a man so early.
I know my mother wishes she’d gotten more time with him and I do to.
I wish I had the opportunity to curl up with my grandfather and hear his stories. He probably never even got around to thinking about having grandchildren one day. He will never know me but I will always remember.
Tomorrow at 11:00 I will be standing in the cold at the local cenotaph with my daughters and my husband to show our respect. It is the least we can do.
I think every Canadian should be doing the same. Lest we forget.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~ Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
I think he knows you, Jaime Lee, if we can hold onto the belief that he is in a “better place.” He would have been so proud to get to know the family he created, and every November 11 brings a poignant sadness to those left behind, whose numbers shrink every year.
Remember, and keep the respect. We owe them that.
Darrell Chaisson says
He will be there standing beside you, beside us all.
I believe he will be.
Gerianne carragher says
Without a doubt, he was with you today………….without a doubt!!!!!