Today is Remembrance Day in Canada (Veterans’ Day if you are in the US), which marks the anniversary of the signing of the armistice in World War I on November 11, 1918. Today, this day is used to honor soldiers of all wars.
I started a little project last year, after finding my grandfather’s WWI journals and my father’s WWII journal: I have been blogging the journals on a daily basis, with each day’s entry on the same day, just shifted by 94 years and 67 years, respectively. My grandfather’s journal covers the entire period from the day he shipped out in 1916 until when he arrived home in 1919; we’re at November 1917 right now, so have a year and half to go. My father’s journal, unfortunately, only covers the period from January-September 1944, so is already finished, but considering that he was in the navy, and took troops into the beaches of Normandy during the invasion, there’s some pretty interesting reading.
For the most part, these are just a few sentences each day written by small-town boys who were not recognized war heroes: not usually the kind of stories that we read about the wars. My grandfather’s sense of melancholy and my father’s sense of adventure are interesting contrasts. Feel free to follow along, and help out with the handwriting when I can’t decipher the journal myself.