Remembering Remembrance Day


Benoit Aubry

Emma Luciw, Staff Writer

It’s crazy to think that I wouldn’t be alive today if my great grandfather didn’t know to stand still in an open field while nazi’s dropped flare bombs around him and shot anything that moved. My great-grandfather was an interesting man, and extremely smart. Hearing his stories of WW2 while growing up was really cool. They were never violent, just interesting enough that I’ve hung onto every detail, especially since he passed about a year ago. My family was able to inherit some of his souvenirs from when he was in the war, and each one holds an amazing story.

My great-grandfather was a spy for the Canadians during his time in the war. His job was so secretive and risky that he couldn’t tell anyone, not even his wife, what he was doing. In the pack that he always had to carry around with him, he had a tiny first aid kit. The kit contained the necessities, like band aids, bandages and such, but it also had a secret compartment. In that compartment there was a silk map folded so small and tightly that it could just fit in the compartment. The reason it was so secretive was because it was a map of Germany and the enemy lines. If he was ever caught and the nazi’s found that map, he would have been done for.

He also washed up on the beaches of Normandy, buck naked. He was in a submarine, along with lots of other soldiers and submarines alongside them, when their pod to land on the beach was launched too early. They rapidly started to sink and the doors were being flooded by water and blocked by panicking men. My great-grandfather knew there was no way he was going to successfully escape the way everyone else was. So he started for the hatch at the top of the pod, but it was forced shut by the heavy waters surrounding the sub. He removed his helmet and started banging on the hatch with it, and finally was able to escape. He wasn’t a very strong swimmer, and all of his gear and the weight of his outfit was really pulling him down. So, he had to remove all of his gear and clothes so he could get to shore a lot easier.

One of his coolest souvenirs is a Nazi soldier’s sword. My great-grandfather was exploring a small town after an attack, and found a sword on the ground. It was still in its sheath decorated in Swastikas. He was in the midst of taking the sword out to examine it when another soldier came to tell him that the war had ended, and they won. These stories are really interesting and they’re really important to the history of my family. I think that Remembrance Day is very important for our country and those still grieving over their brutal losses. Remembering stories like these really showcase how important our world’s history is.