Monday, January 4, 2016

World War 2

Lyle, Gordon, Don, Buster, Howard Shillington
 Sometimes, events in a life can be so profound that they remain in your  memory  forever.  As a child of almost four  I  watched the troops marching past  our house in Saskatoon  on  December 4, 1939.  They were weighed  down by heavy battle gear and followed by tearful loved ones who were watching their husbands, boyfriends, sons and brothers marching off to war, just wanting to touch them one more time.   The steady sound of heavy boots on the pavement was loud and rhythmic, almost eerie, then faded as the soldiers made their way along Lorne Avenue.  Eventually there was just a muffled sound and then silence.  They were gone.  The soldiers  continued across the bridge to the train station downtown, where they boarded the troop trains to Halifax.  I saw my mother, along with the many others on the sidewalk was crying as she stood quietly and watched.  So many tears were flowing, so much sadness.  As a young child it was impossible to understand the scene I was witnessing.   Buena Vista school down the road from my house had dismissed the students early to watch the marchers and I could see the young boys run out onto the street to join those who were already following the soldiers.  The events of that day I was able to confirm with Gerry who became my brother-in-law many years later, as he was among the students at Buena Vista School who watched the soldiers.  My late mother-in-law also stood and watched that day.   In the weeks that followed there were many whispered conversations by my parents as news of the war became a priority in our house.  My father and four of his brothers enlisted and served in WW2.