November is a time to remember


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/11/2021 (569 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

We are living through a pandemicm which has not been fun for anyone. But does that compare to living through a world war and having food rationed, as happened in the 1940s?

In both situations, a lot of people have lost their lives, been ill, injured and inconvenienced.
I respect all of our health-care workers fighting on the front lines against COVID-19. In November, we honour all those who served in the Canadian armed forces to protect our way of life.

Remembrance Day is personal to me. Let me tell you why.

Supplied photo
A flag flies on a Winnipeg home in remembrance of Canadian war heroes.
Supplied photo A flag flies on a Winnipeg home in remembrance of Canadian war heroes.

The turning point of the Second World War was D-Day — June 6, 1944. Two million men were stationed in England, waiting for that day and over 130,000 of them boarded 5,000 ships to depart for France. My dad, Gar Hindle, a longtime St. Vital resident, was on one of those ships.

The weather was so bad the invasion was delayed for a day and it was still bad on the morning of June 6, when the ships crossed the English Channel. Dad told me almost every soldier became seasick in the rough waters.

He was a radio operator on a Sherman tank attached to the Fort Garry Horse regiment. The tanks needed to embark off the ships a distance from shore, owing to obstacles the Germans had placed in the water. A canvas floating device filled with air helped the tank float until it reached the shore. The first tank off his ship sank when its flotation device did not activate properly. How would you have liked to be on the second tank?

Once on the beach, Dad got out of his tank and crawled to a fellow Canadian soldier and helped him throw his grenades through the windows of a house on the beach where German machine gun fire was threatening the landing. Turns out my dad had a great arm — maybe I got some of my baseball skills from him!

About six weeks later, after fighting through France and learning his three-year-old daughter back home had died of whooping cough, Dad was injured and sent to hospital in London.

How am I to understand such horror? Can I really compare his hardships to having to wear a mask or show a vaccination card during the pandemic?

What I can do is remember and honour the sacrifice…

• Four years of his life fighting for justice and freedom for future generations

• Not being able to see or even call my mom when they lost their first child…

• Being seriously injured.

Many Canadians did not make it home at all from the Second World Ward. Over 45,000 were killed in Europe. Can we take time to remember that type of sacrifice?

Of course we can. And we should. All these past heroes deserve nothing less.

While we are at it, we should also remember the dedication of our health-care professionals who are still fighting COVID-19.

John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at

John Hindle

John Hindle
Community Correspondent — St. Vital

John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at

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