Remembrance service sheds light on uncertainty of war

For one Canadian family, serving in the Second World War really meant sacrifice. John Dufort recalled a powerful entry his father made in his diary before deciding to enlist in Canada’s war effort.

“He wrote in his diary, ‘My older brother Paul and my older sister Mary have all left and gone off to war,’” he said. “’We are selling our house here in Saskatoon and who knows if we will ever see each other again.’”

John Dufort joined the annual Remembrance Day worship on Sunday (Nov. 6) at the Royal Canadian Legion on Dawes Road in East York. Members and visitors gathered for the service and to pay their respects.

Kathy Cole, secretary and membership chair of at Branch 11, also thinks of her father at this time of year.

“My father was a naval veteran,” she said. “He fought during World War II, so I do this in his memory. I joined the legion while he was still alive because he wanted me to join for him.”

Cole, a longtime member, knows just how much work goes into preparing for Remembrance events.

“This is something really special here,” she said.

The Legion relies on the help of volunteers to run the branch and to prepare for events. During the ceremony, 15 people, cadets and dignitaries laid the wreaths donated by many supporters.

After the ceremony, veterans and visitors gathered in the clubroom to enjoy refreshments and the opportunity to mingle. Many stories were shared around the room. Some took the stage to say a few words to the those present and to tell the stories of family members who fought in the war.

East York Coun. Janet Davis also attended the event and shared her recent discovery of a family story.

“My uncle, who was also a veteran passed away this year, and we sold the family home,” she said. “I discovered a box and I found all the letters that my father and my uncle wrote to my mother during the war. What those letters told me was how young they were. … They were so young.”

The shared stories were a reminder of the significance of the day. Coun. Davis emphasized the importance of passing on the stories and experiences of war – its impact and uncertainty.

“They talked a lot about waiting and not being sure about what was going to happen next,” Davis said.

The unknown future was evident in John Dufort’s family story too. Again, he quoted one of his father’s diary entries.

“He concluded his remark in his diary and said, ‘We had a wonderful run here. I have no regrets.’”