Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Jeremy Diamond

GET UPDATES FROM Jeremy Diamond
 

Remembering With Witnesses to Our History

Posted: 11/11/11 07:05 AM ET

An Ontario pilot taken prisoner of war at Buchenwald, an Albertan nursing sister in the North African campaign of the Second World War, a Manitoban soldier who stormed Juno Beach on D-Day, and a B.C. corporal who saw his regiment near annihilated at Hill 355 during the Korean War...

Each of these men and women took up the call to serve for Canada in war time. Each bore witness to our history. And each one came home to tell their story.

With fewer than 150,000 of 1.1 million Second World War veterans and only about 10,000 Korean War veterans remaining in Canada, now is the time for us to listen and learn from their experiences and to preserve them for future generations. Their testimonials give us an intimate, individual perspective on defining moments in our history.

In order to create a legacy of service experience, The Memory Project has recorded more than 2,500 Second World War veteran testimonials and nearly 200 Korean War testimonials since 2009. These stories are shared with all Canadians at www.thememoryproject.com.

This Remembrance Day, we ask Canadians take time to listen to the voices of veterans who experienced history first-hand, like Allan Smith, Betty Dimock, Francis Goodon and Gary Williams. Their stories and sacrifices must never be forgotten.

Allan Smith -- Airforce
1  of  9
PLAY
FULLSCREEN
ZOOM
SHARE THIS SLIDE 
Like other Bomber Command veterans, Allan Smith was shot down over German-occupied Europe. Before the Allied forces could liberate him, he was betrayed to the Germans. Treated as a spy, he endured captivity in Paris' notorious Fresnes' prison, Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and Stalag Luft III.

"We left concentration camp Buchenwald on October the 20th, 1944, for Stalag [Luft] III. [A Luftwaffe Prisoner of War camp near Zagan, Poland] And let me tell you that it was quite dicey because we were to be executed on October the 21st. And thank God it didn't come off. Anyway, the Luftwaffe got us out of there. So we got out of there and arrived at Stalag III. Now, that was a real Sunday school compared with Buchenwald."

Hear his story here.