Thursday, July 4th, 2019

CEARRA HOWEY – Dear Diary

With Canada Day being just a few days ago, I have been doing a lot of thinking about this wonderful country and how it came to be. My thoughts of course drift back to confederation in 1867, when Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick joined together to create the Dominion of Canada.
I think of the freedom that we are very privileged to have in this country. But in order to get this freedom, a great sacrifice had to be made. Of course, I am thinking about our veterans.
I had the privilege of speaking with some of Port Perry’s veterans during the Canada Day celebrations in Palmer Park on Monday. They told me their many stories and described their experiences overseas during World War II.
Through listening to their stories, I started to understand what the War was really like. It really hit home for me when they said some of them were sixteen when they signed up!
I realized that these brave young men and women gave up their families, and their lives, in order to fight for their country. These brave soldiers had no idea whether or not they would ever return home, but even in the face of danger they stood tall and went, despite all of their fears.
I have seen the footage and heard the stories, if I described World War II as horrific. It would be a vast understatement. It is so hard for me to fathom what they went through overseas, but also the impact it has on our great country, even 74 years after World War II ended.
I think that Canada Day is a reason to celebrate the birth of this great country. But I also think that it should be a cause to remember our great veterans; the ones who came home, the ones who didn’t, and the ones who are still fighting today.
These men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy the lives we have today. I think that Canadians should be grateful, and remember everything our veterans have done for us, always.
I also want to mention my late grandfather Barry Howey. At the age of 18 he signed up in Montreal and joined the Royal Canadian Navy, serving honourably on the HMCS Cornwallis, in Halifax. My grandfather was never deployed overseas, but that does not make me any less proud of him. My grandfather was ready, he was ready to fight for his and Canada’s freedom, no matter what the risk was. My grandfather was a very inspiring and courageous man and he taught me many things about the war, but also many important life lessons. There won’t be a day that goes by that I won’t be proud to be his granddaughter. I love you grandpa, thank you for your service and everything else you taught me and gave me.
Lastly, I want to thank our many veterans as well as our current serving armed forces. We owe you our freedom, and it is a debt that we can never repay. You gave up your lives, so we could have ours. I personally will never forget the loss and the sacrifices, I will forever remember you, and be grateful to you. Thank you.

Yours Truly