Lancaster Bomber, Nanton, Alberta
Thank you for all the brave Canadian men and women who served, fought and sacrificed their lives protecting us from harm. It’s a sacrifice we will never be able to repay. 
The photos I’m showing today is years of rebuilding of the Lancaster Bomber in a small town, Nanton, Alberta. It’s south of Calgary and 30 km from High River, Alberta. 

Lancaster Bomber, Nanton, Alberta
At the Bomber Command Museum, it’s been years of hard work trying to find parts to rebuild a Lancaster Bomber. 

I’ve been in Nanton a few times to see the progress of the Lancaster Bomber. First years they started up two engines and last year they were able to start four engines.

Remembrance Day to me, is in remembrance of my Uncle Marcel Demers. He went to WWII not really understanding the magnitude of what was waiting for him. He was assigned to one of the Lancaster Bombers in England, after his training in eastern Canada. Within 6 months of being active in WWII his plane, along with the rest of the crew crashed in Europe.  

Miraculously Uncle Marcel survived the crash.  

He spent the next 6 months in the hospital and was then shipped back home, to Edmonton, Alberta.  

Lancaster Bomber, Nanton, Alberta
What I remember of my uncle, he was a hard worker and around me, always cracking jokes. Being your typical Frenchmen he loved hockey, inviting his relative, Jacques Demers to his home, while he was in town.  

I was just a young kid way back then. Had no idea I was related to Jacques Demers, head coach to the many different hockey leagues. Apparently ( and I didn’t know this ) Jacques Demers had the opportunity to coach Wayne Gretzky in the 1979 WHA All-Star Series. 

It’s been said, Jacques Demers asked Gordie Howe if it was okay to put him on a line with Wayne Gretzky and his son Mark Howe. 

What’s funny, I’ve met Wayne Gretzky at the Edmonton Petroleum Club and he had no idea, I’m related to Jacques Demers. I shook Wayne Gretzky hand, but I was never allowed to talk to him on a personal level. To think of the connection – it’s a small world, really.

Anyway – 

Getting back to my Uncle Marcel Demers, he would drive me around showing me the planes taking off at the municipal airport in Edmonton, Alberta. One day he told me he had a real treat to show me, as a Lancaster Bomber landed in Edmonton. 

Lancaster Bomber, Nanton, Alberta
My goodness – I remember looking through the gates as this massive flying machine coming down the tarmac. And loud! I believe I was only 8 years old back then. Excited to see this Bomber land, my curiosity got the best of me, I had to ask him about his time in WWII. Unfortunately, it must of been a very bad memory, as he refused to talk further about his experiences during WWII. 

To me, Uncle Marcel was a good nurturing uncle, who made me laugh, but whatever happened to him in WWII, left a deep hugely scar and most likely Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) , a term only used after 1980. So in his time, it was just known as the raw wounds of war. 

Lancaster Bomber, Nanton, Alberta
He never told me, but I’m assuming his crew didn’t survive the crash. Uncle Marcel wasn’t the pilot but possibly the bombarder. WWII was a war itched into his brain, and no matter how he tried to forget, he couldn’t. 

So you see, war effects everyone. Not only the brave servicemen but all the families who have lost loved ones. For the soldiers who have come back, they are never the same.  

Even as a young kid back then, I could see how bad it effected my uncle. War is a terrible thing and those who served deserve our deepest respect, as we will never repay them for their sacrifices. 

My Uncle Marcel has passed away, but I will always remember his love towards me and his service during WWII. 

I remember and Lest We Forget – never ever should we have another war. 

Learn more about the Lancaster Bombers 

Lancaster Bomber, Nanton, Alberta
I Hold true to “In Flanders Fields” a poem written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, during WWI. As we mourn the lost of Leonard Cohen, we remember his voice to ” In Flanders Fields”.  He too was Canadian, born in Montreal, Quebec.

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

Our Freedom at a price. Too much blood has been spilled to ignore the sacrifices. Please respect and hold your freedom close to your heart. Without that freedom, we have nothing to stand for, as a country, a nation, or as a civilization.  

Thank you for allowing me the freedom to be able to Explore Canada. 

Our Freedom at a price. It’s a sacrifice we will never be able to repay. 

Please read more about our Freedom.

By Bari Demers screenwriter and freelance writer  FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER 

PS. – I wanted to show you a video of the Lancaster Bomber, but I’m still trying to get this video uploaded, so hopefully tomorrow I can show you.
#RememberThem #RemembranceDay #ArmisticeDay #LeonardCohen #InFlandersFields #ExploreCanada #ExploreAlberta #Demers #Canadianwar #Canadian 

Our Freedom at a Price

Our Freedom at a price. 

Sitting in the comfort of my home, I am privileged to be able to reflect our past, present and future.

Throughout most of the world we can enjoy our freedom, counting our lucky stars we aren’t ruled by some greedy dictator or religious fanatic, who’s like a lioness ready to stalk her prey.

Many have tried before and failed miserably, throughout our savage blood-thirsty history, but it doesn’t mean we can rest. Our dreams can be crushed in a second, if we aren’t aware of our surroundings.

Best practice?

Always be vigil, keeping evil at bay.

Today, we are thankful for the young men and women fighting for our freedom as we are grateful for our veterans and the lost soldiers who died to kept us free.

Blood-shed of our soldiers is a constant reminded of how valuable our freedom really is and should never ever be taken lightly.

On November 11 we can pay tribute to the sacrifices made, making sure their lives are never forgotten. Mankind’s struggle for freedom will always be part of our lives, as long as greed and power exist.

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin.

War can also be added to the above quote, it’s an unfortunately evil reality.

We like to think we’re are civilized, known right from wrong, implementing our laws to protect our rights; and yet, everyday our freedom comes at a dreadful price.

Therefore, on this Remembrance Day, “I just want to thank all the men and women who fought and still are fighting for our FREEDOM, as we sit back in the comfort of our homes.”

“Lest We Forget…”

By Bari Demers