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Letter: Remember all aspects of war

As the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War nears, Canadians are reminded of the loss of thousands of young lives from their home communities and provinces.
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I write in reference to the item in the Telegram of Oct.  1  titled “Soldier silhouettes commemorate veterans.”

Included with the item was a photograph of several local military and civilian worthies. This item underscores we are now in that time of year leading up to the observations about Remembrance Day.

Yes, I agree we should certainly remember the noble sacrifices of the wars and the often heroic role of Canadian soldiers.

However, and note well all who read this, this also is war and by Canadian soldiers:

“One young German, (who was) scruffy, bareheaded, (who had) cropped hair and (who was) wearing steel-rimmed spectacles, ran (around) screaming with fear, dodging in and out amongst us, (in a bid) to avoid being shot, crying out, ‘Nein! Nein!’ He pulled out from his breast pocket a handful of photographs, and tried to show them to us —I suppose they were of his wife and children-in an effort to gain our sympathy. It was all to no avail. As the bullets smacked into him he fell to the ground motionless, the pathetic little photographs fluttering down to the earth around him.”

The above is the eye-witness account of Canadian soldier Lance Cattermole of the 21st Battalion 4th Brigade 2nd Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force of his experience in the Battle of the Somme, 1916. Cattermole’s comments are quoted in the book “Somme-Into the Breach” by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore.

Into the Breach indeed.

Robin Reid

St. John’s

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