My earliest memories of Remembrance Day involved placing poppies on Tombstones with members of the Legion in Cobourg.
Growing up in a family of both veterans and survivors of wars, I feel I have a great understanding of the sacrifice that was made by soldiers and families.
My family is indebted to the Canadian Army and the liberation of Holland. They saved the lives of both my Grandmother’s as well as my Grandfather.
Two of those people are Trooper Irvin L. Vachon, who served with A company. 27th Canadian Armored Regiment. 3rd Canadian Armored Brigade. And Flight Officer Everett T. Vachon DSM RCAF .
Flying Sgt. Vachon was a tail gunner in a Wellington medium class bomber when it was sent out on a mission to determine capabilities of German night fighters and Rader signals.
Their bomber was attacked by fighters and FSgt. Vachon is credited with downing one of the attackers. Their bomber heavily damaged was forced to ditch in the English Channel. The pilot managed to land their bomber on water, and with their life rafts damaged the plane managed to stay afloat until being rescued.
FSgt. Vachon was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by King George himself and was later giving a commission before being discharged and coming back to Canada.
His brother ( my paternal grandfather) was a part of the tactical reserve on D-Day. His regiment was in the boats that day ready and waiting if needed to help on the beaches of Normandy. Coming ashore on D+1, the “Sherbrooke Fiddlers” saw some of the heaviest fighting of the Canadian units. Luckily he survived amd helped liberate Holland. During the liberation of Holland and after the surrender of Nazi Germany he met and fell in love with a young girl.
They came to Canada together and started a family. Tragically my Grandfather would not live long enough to see his grandchildren or his great grandchildren.
These two brothers were just two of many who would not only volunteer to help save the people of Europe, but were the lucky ones to survive.
Unfortunately like many veterans that I have met over the years amd also read about. Their stories remain for the most part untold.
We as a nation should never forget the sacrifices they made, not just for King and Country but for the millions of people who were affected all over the world.
I know that I will never forget.