Two Fronts

…and in the setting of the sun we will remember them…

But what if we don’t know them? What happens to all those fallen soldiers that don’t have family to share their story? We can’t research stories for each one of them. The numbers for the First World War were never very exact. The volume of the numbers in the Second World War is so tremendous that it shakes the soul — in the millions.

So perhaps we can’t remember them all individually but we can collectively recall them. Poppies, school visits by veterans, remembrance day ceremonies and grave side thoughts. Recognition is key.

Today it is Aboriginal Veterans Day and it’s a sad foot note on the First World War in particular that this group of veterans were not recognized for years. Even more appalling is that they couldn’t even vote when they enlisted for war service. But still they went for the Queen and Country. There were often recruited within their battalions to become snipers. Their cultural background gave them an aptitude for this.

Joseph Boyden’s “Three Day Road” draws on his maternal grandfather and a paternal uncle’s stories of time spent in the trenches and as snipers. It delves deeply into the darkened mind of men who have seen the worst.

I’ve called this two fronts. When I sat down to write today I wasn’t exactly sure who I was going to focus on. I out that it was finding out that it was Aboriginal Veterans Day. The photos I had lined up went with MIA. So it works for both as there were Aboriginal soldiers who went MIA.

11 Days — 11 Stories 

Acts of Remembrance 


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