Somewhere in England, November 4th 1943... Thus began a postcard that took 64 years to deliver. Though the ink is still legible, the paper has yellowed. On the front is a picture of the Old Curiosity shop that Charles Dickens used to visit in London. It was a simple detail that Loyes Denny wanted to share with his baby sister, Mary.
Yet, it's the luxury liner that brought them here, the beautiful Aquitania, that uniquely captures my attention. Like my family, the ship was tired, battle-weary, but she pushed ahead nonetheless, navigating her way through rough seas, a turbulent winter and plenty of unknowns to reach the final destination. As a proud Canadian and daughter, I'm terribly glad she did.
Every year, millions of Canadians take part in this campaign by attaching the poppy to their clothes. I do not wear the poppy, or donate to the RCL, because I believe that this campaign glorifies war instead of calling for peace. I believe that it is of the utmost importance to remember past wars and the soldiers who took part in them, but I remember these things quite a bit differently than how the RCL would like you to remember them.
October also brings in a day that commemorates what should be a part of our daily activities but for many is either forgotten or simply ignored: handwashing. It's not a surprise as handwashing is not considered -- other than perhaps in the public health field -- to be an incredibly important part of living.
So the thing about Budapest is that it just kinda takes you by surprise. Everyone raves about Vienna and Prague and all those neighboring cities (and rightly so), but Budapest is kinda lonely. Its streets aren't cluttered with hordes of tourists jockeying for the best camera space or picking their noses in public. So, why was I so surprised by Budapest? Something to do with its beautiful streets and fascinating history, I guess.
Canada's soldiers suffered heavy casualties in the second half of 1944 in Normandy. Infantry units operated at half strength of less, their platoons frequently reduced to a dozen soldiers instead of the normal 30. And, the soldiers, grumbled, there were thousands of 'zombies,' or home defence conscripts, safe in Canada.