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Letter of the Day

A tribute to bravery

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I was glad to see the interesting column by Terrence Rundle West, All dead but one (May 30). After so many years, at least one person cares enough to pay tribute to the members of the Canadian Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion who volunteered to fight the fascists and Nazis in Spain's civil war.

In 1950, I had the rare opportunity to meet one of the survivors in Santiago, Chile. I did not know much about what happened to this battalion that was defending democracy for western society.

He told me that he decided to find peace and a new home in Chile because his Canadian government treated him as a "traitor and communist," although he was a devoted Catholic from Quebec.

He said he was unable to get a job or security as a veteran. How ironic it is that these brave volunteers were unwelcome in Canada after risking their lives for the survival of the British Empire, which was almost defeated by the mighty German military power. At least one writer is willing to give them their due.

FRANCISCO VALENZUELA

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 2, 2012 A19

History

Updated on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM CDT: adds link

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