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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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