Saturday, August 7, 2021

Sacrifice And Pure Courage

 Continuing on where I left off, panels and artifacts look at a bereaved Canadian mother, Alta Wilkinson, who would channel her grief into work with veterans organizations and other families in remembrance of her fallen son.

A scrapbook of her memories is seen at left here. At right is a certificate designating her an honorary citizen of Ravenna, Italy,

D-Day would prove to be one of the turning points in history. Allied forces stormed ashore on five beaches in Normandy, supported by naval and air forces. Canadian soldiers came ashore on Juno Beach. They would be the beginning of the salvation of Europe.

Before D-Day could happen, however, it was the work of planning in advance, of reconnaissance by rangers and commandos, of work with Resistance groups to prepare. This last was largely undertaken by the Special Operations Executive, a British organization of Allied operatives who worked with the Resistance and conducted other operations in occupied Europe before the troops could get there. One such example was a Canadian, Gustave Bieler, who spent a year conducting operations in France against the Nazis until his luck ran out.

His false identity card and a letter to family are here.

Leslie Neufeld came from a Mennonite family, and despite the pacifist leanings of his background felt he had to serve his country. He would be one of the many paratroopers to make the jump into Normandy on D-Day, but was killed that first day.

George Tinning painted Drifting Down in 1944.


  1. William - D-Day is always thought provoking and sobering. The painting is very evocative. If it's possible to like a painting with this as its subject matter, I do!

  2. I'm always thankful that I've lived through a time without any world wars; as a soldier I think I'd have been found wanting.

  3. A wonderful tribute to the brave men and women. I hope we won't have to go through any war.

  4. Saber bien gestionar el dolor, es muy bueno para la salud mental.

    Que tengas un buen fin de semana de descanso.

  5. It must´ve been awful. To arrive on boats and... see how your mates get slaughtered. Guess you dream bad every night if you survived this.

  6. Hello,
    I feel for all the mother's who had to worry about their sons returning home safely.
    Great exhibit. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

  7. ...sacrifice and pure courage are traits that fewer and fewer have these days.

  8. @Angie: it had to be done.

    @John: so many stepped up.

    @Nancy: I hope not.

    @Ventana: thanks.

    @Iris: no doubt.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Tom: all too true.

    @Francisco: thanks.

  9. Stories of individual tragedy add an authentic poignancy to it all.

  10. These stories are both sad and inspiring. Our lives would be so different without their efforts and those of others.

  11. So many brave people and so much sadness everywhere.

  12. There are millions more stories of sacrifice and loss but these stand as examples for us to be reminded of the war.

  13. Make you feel grateful for their sacrifice, it's not a time I would want to have lived in, it's bad enough in the one we do

  14. Wonderful tribute to Sacrifice and Courage ~ grateful for those that did so ~

    Living in the moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka ( A Creative Harbor)

  15. @David: very much so.

    @Marie: indeed.

    @Magiceye: definitely.

    @Jeanie: I agree.

    @RedPat: all too true.

    @Sharon: so do I.

    @Red: they do indeed.

    @Billy: I agree.

    @Revrunner: true.

    @Carol: thank you.

  16. I enjoyed learning about these people very much. You have given me a different perspective as well.

  17. These are quite the record. The last painting is quite stunning.

  18. i enjoy the last painting .. due to the coloring or style. ( ;