Words to Young Canadians

Heroes Remember

Words to Young Canadians

The warfare of what I went through, and what the next generation will go through, there’s no comparison. And so, I could not tell some, some young boys, “Well join the army and see the world” and all that kind of stuff because I know in myself that the next war is not going to be the same as what we’ve seen. Far from it. Because what we have seen is nothing to compare with what we’re going to see. Because, guns now, just image they’ve got guns now with radiation that they’ll just point it at something and push the trigger and the object is gone. They have them now. The Americans have them. And the type of, well everything in general, it’s hard for young people now to place themselves into warfare. They were asking me here this morning, ok you wouldn’t be able to get back in the army, nobody would want you anyway. I said “Maybe.” But remember one thing. The next war is not going to be a war where you’re going to pull a trigger and shoot people. The next war is the people that can operate their fingers and work on computers. They’re the people that are going to be important. That’s it.

Mr. Grand offers a unique response to young Canadians and future generations about service and duty to their country.

John Grand

Mr. Grand was born in 1909 in, as he described it, “a small hamlet in the wilderness of southern Manitoba.” His father homesteaded in Manitoba and then Saskatchewan. John Grand described his growing up during the Depression as poor and tough.

Mr. Grand was very interested in electronics as a teenager and held an amateur radio licence. He tried to join the Signal Corps in the 1930's, but was rejected for being “too flat-chested”. He remembers being so poor that he often joined the soup line to get something to eat. His first job was on the assembly line at Canadian Marconi for eleven cents an hour.

He joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals when war was declared in 1939. He was first assigned as a radio operator, but when his superiors saw his mechanical skills he was quickly re-assigned as a radio technician. His overseas service included landing at Dieppe, participating in the Normandy Campaign and in the liberation of Holland.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Grand
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Signals Corps
Staff Sergeant
Radio Operator and Technician

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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