Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

This is not my father, John Symes, who, unfortunately never had the experience of this D-Day veteran who returned to Normandy to remember. Hopefully, one day, I will go.

remembrance-day-poppy My father, John Symes (1915—2001), was a WWII veteran, serving with the First Hussars as a gunner on board a tank which landed on the shore of Normandy on D-Day. He continued in battle for eight days when he was shot through the abdomen. Thanks to the heroic effort of a fellow soldier, Dad was rescued from the battlefield and his life saved. His brother, George Symes, continued in battle for another seven days and then his tank ran over a landmine. Uncle George miraculously also survived and on the long boat ride home from England, the brothers were reunited.

He never talked much about it. I’m sure his life was never the same after it. My older brother, James Symes, was born in Ontario while my father trained in England. I am grateful that in his later years, he and my mother adopted me. On Remembrance Day, my thoughts weigh heavy on me, contemplating the sacrifices made by my dad and his generation for us. God bless the memories of John Symes and George Symes, real heroes.

1 comment:

  1. I often wonder if we went into the people helping business because of the silent "soldiering on" we witnessed in our fathers. They did not share much of their experiences in the war...what they did share at times shocked me and at the same time romanticized the ideas of comradery, having a purpose and sacrifice. I sat this morning listening to the sounds of the trumpet wondering if that "quiet soldiering on" were them longing for those feelings of purpose and a life that had clear boundaries and purpose. What if the culture they came back to allowed them to explore the ideas of calling and purpose? What might they have become?