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Remembrance Today

Heroes Remember

Well, you think of your friends that were lost there. That you know, and I guess we could say you celebrate the life they had. And this is what they want you to do, this is what they would want you to do, you know. I'm proud I was there, but the people, the people that did the service and sacrificed their lives, those are the people that are making it good for me today. It's the people that stayed over there, and we had over 6,000 of them stayed in Sicily and Italy. So, I would say, those are the people that you got to talk about and tell the kids about. The way we remember those people, it doesn't take very long, a minute, minute of silence, maybe a prayer, sometimes you lay a wreath but their memory has to be preserved and you know, we owe them that much and a lot more. And as people would say you know, "We dare not let them down. We've got to tell, we've got to try and get the story out as long as we can." And Armistice Day, it's getting now that a lot of people are, you know, they don't want to close their businesses to Armistice, a lot of them stay open you know. They're forgetting. You go over to Holland, I was over to Holland a couple of years ago and the children in Holland know more about the war than I do. They're taught in school. And here there's nobody spoke about it for fifty years, now we're starting to try to get the story across, but I think we did a disservice to our kids, you know, I hear people saying our kids don't know anything about the war you know, they don't know anything because we never told them. And if you can jog their memories up some...but there's not too many Veterans left there. I don't know how long I've got left, 86 I'm not going to bet, not going to bet another 30 days.

A very touching and thought provoking testimony on the value of remembrance.

Alexander McInnis

Mr. McInnis was born in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, on September 7, 1919. His father was a section man for the CNR. He was the 3rd in a family of six (four brothers and one sister) of which his sister was the eldest. He joined the Cape Breton Highlanders without telling his parents when he was 20 years old. His four brothers also joined the forces. He started training in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, and then Victoria Park in Sydney until joining the West Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment. He went overseas May 12, 1940, and trained in Aldershot for three years. In 1943 he was sent by convoy to partake in the invasion of Sicily. After helping to free the town of Agira, he was sent across to southern Italy. After taking part in the Battle of Ortona he was wounded and ended up in the hospital in England for seven months. He then moved on to France, with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Division. After five more months of fighting in France and Holland where he helped in freeing the port of Antwerp, he was sent home to Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alexander McInnis
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

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