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Remembering Manitoba’s military past, today
On Nov. 11, millions of people will stand silent in remembrance of the thousands of men and women who gave their lives so we could live ours freely.
Jon Ted Wynne has taken two years to create a six-part series called Standing on Guard for MTS TV Stories from Home.
"This series is different from others," Wynne said. "It focuses on individuals; I spend a lot of time focusing on people’s faces because when you wear a uniform it’s easy to be thought of as a number . . . It makes it so much easier to relate to these human beings and what they’ve suffered, endured, and gone through in the name serving Canada."
The series is made up of 30-minute episodes and explores Manitoba’s rich military history by focusing on The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, The Fort Garry Horse, the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, The Winnipeg Grenadiers, and the 38 Service Battalion.
Wynne met with veterans, serving members, and family members of those who serve.
"One man said to me ‘Canada has never gone to war for personal gain,’" said Wynne. "How many other countries can say that? I can’t think of a lot . . . imagine that? Not for personal gain, but to help others. That’s phenomenal."
During filming, Wynne also had a chance to work with the Royal Family. Prince Philip is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, and Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. On a whim, Wynne contacted their media representatives for them to contribute the series.
"Lo and behold, they both responded in a positive manner, it was unbelievable," Wynne said. "Now that has nothing to do with me. That has everything to do with their intense commitment to the regiment. They take their role as Colonel-in-Chief extremely seriously."
Prince Charles decided to film his own piece using his own resources, something Wynne was grateful for as it saved him some production money. Prince Philip, on the other hand, invited Wynne to Buckingham Palace to film him. Wynne said it was surreal.
"He read the introduction to the piece, perfect, he had just turned 90 and it was perfect," said Wynne.
Wynne hopes that the series will remind people that every soldier who served or serves has a family and people who will miss them. He recalls when Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Cpl. Mike Seggie died in Afghanistan at the age of 21.
"You show a picture of Mike Seggie and you go in on his eyes, it’s intimate, it’s powerful, its heart-rending that this happened," Wynne said. "But that means that every one of those other thousands were the same thing. They had parents, they had people who loved them, they had stories, and they had lives. That, I hope, is what will make this series really resonate."
Standing on Guard is now playing on MTS TV. For more information on the series, you can contact Wynne at 204-284-4443 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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