Wait for Me, Daddy!

“Wait for Me, Daddy” memorial in New Westminster, British Columbia.
Photo : City of New Westminster

Ellie

We had a terrific train trip across Canada learning about remembrance. A special highlight for me was visiting a beautiful bronze memorial that was inspired by a famous photograph.

The photo was taken on October 1, 1940. Hundreds of soldiers were marching through the streets of New Westminster, British Columbia, heading off to war when five-year-old Warren “Whitey” Bernard broke free from his mom’s hand and ran toward his dad, Private Jack Bernard. A reporter recorded the moment and the picture was published on the front page of the Vancouver Daily Province the next day. It soon appeared in newspapers across the country.

The photo, which came to be known as “Wait for Me, Daddy,” captured so much about the emotions involved in families being separated and the uncertainties of war. Little Whitey did not know when he would see his father again. Private Bernard did go overseas and came ashore at Juno Beach on D-Day. Thankfully, he survived and was able to return home to his family. Sadly, many other soldiers did not.

Today, this amazing image has taken on the form of a bronze memorial, located on the corner where the picture was taken. What a great way to remember the sacrifices Canadian men and women in uniform—and their families—have made in times of war. I liked this memorial so much that I hugged the figure of the boy with my trunk!

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