Shirley Molloy led our program. Members read aloud prepared written excerpts and Shirley showed video clips to provide information about Canada’s contributions to the wars in the last hundred years. Each of these “vignettes” set the stage for individual members to share personal recollections and family stories. 
Remembering World War I:
George Gould recalled an uncle who had saved people from a bombed hospital. Ralph Montesanto talked about the powerful experience of being in Ypres and Passchendaele.
Shirley remembered her grandfather being active in the Legion and selling poppies every year. 
Paul Clifford recalled his father-in-law who had been member of the Royal Flying Corps at a time when there were no parachutes. He survived though and even tried to enlist in World War II. Ken Beel worked with someone in Manchester who had been in the Royal Observatory Corps. He also described how in his city nobody ever talked about the First World War yet the damage to shell-shocked soldiers was evidenced in their shuffling manner.
Bob Neibert read the famous poem In Flanders Fields. We were reminded that the poet, John McCrae, had been born in Guelph in 1872 and went to the University of Toronto. The poem was written following the death of a friend who was buried in Flanders. McCrae himself died in 1918 and was buried in France.
Remembering World War II: Phil Wood talked about his father who tried to get into the Navy at 15 and was turned away. Waiting a year, he then joined the Air Force, becoming a tail gunner in a Lancaster Bomber. Paul talked about the horrors of the battlefield in Hong Kong and how so many young “green” troops were sacrificed. George related a story about his grandfather in a convoy throwing over lifeboats to those in the water after their ships had been destroyed. Ken reminded everyone of our legendary Rotarian Ken Turner’s senior position in the military and his accountings of the cost of war.
Remembering Afghanistan: Shirley outlined Canada’s part in the international efforts following the 2001 attacks on the United States. Forty thousand Canadian soldiers served from 2002 to 2014, with 158 killed. The presentation ended with a video clip of a military nurse’s recounting her experience in Afghanistan. 
We concluded with a moment of silence.
 
 
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