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With public ceremonies cancelled this November 11 2020, I can't help but post another angle of this ceremony I photographed in 2015. A large crowd had gathered in downtown Waterloo for the usual ceremony but a train was brought down for veterans to take shelter (in case of rain, etc) and this act of class would have given a poignant reminder of the past with a live coal breathing steam engine transporting some of the sights and smells back to the 1st half of the 20th century. The thing is, millions of people still remember what happened in World War 2 and the impact it had on our world. Many at this ceremony remembered. Veterans of all wars (except WW1) were present at this ceremony including some guys younger than me who served in Afghanistan with the Canadian Army. We don't only remember the past, we also remember those who we recently lost due to current or recent military involvement in world affairs. Everyone present at this ceremony remembered someone or something that touched their lives in ways many cannot imagine.Here's mine: My family and my existence (as all of us, really) was shaped by World War 2, both my Dad's parents escaped a difficult post war life in Europe to come to Canada around 1950. My Grandfathers Family was nearly completely eliminated by the atrocities carried out by the Nazi army in various concentration camps. When he came of age in post war Europe he had nothing else to lose after miraculously surviving the war under the guise as a catholic (He was young Jew child when the war ended). Upon arriving in Canada and meeting my Grandmother who fled the Netherlands, he gained freedom and soon a Family. My Father, myself, and my kids live because of it. My Grandfather never really did recover from the war through, I never met the man as he had passed before I was born due to too much smoking and drinking and the diseases that come with all of that. My Grandmother lived until 2018 and my kids got to know their Great Grandma very well, hearing the war stories from her was a requirement when we took her for lunch at the Swiss Chalet in Brampton in November and otherwise. She was able to live in 70+ years of freedom of this great country of ours and I'm incredibly thankful this Remembrance Day.
Take the time to remember yours and thank you for reading.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: With public ceremonies cancelled or heavily cut back this November 11 2020, I can't help but post another angle of this ceremony I photographed in 2015. A large crowd had gathered in downtown Waterloo for the usual ceremony but a train was brought down for veterans to take shelter (in case of rain, etc) and this act of class would have given a poignant reminder of the past with a live coal breathing steam engine transporting some of the sights and smells back to the 1st half of the 20th century. The thing is, millions of people still remember what happened in World War 2 and the impact it had on our world. Many at this ceremony remembered. Veterans of all wars (except WW1) were present at this ceremony including some guys younger than me who served in Afghanistan with the Canadian Army. We don't only remember the past, we also remember those who we recently lost due to current or recent military involvement in world affairs. Everyone present at this ceremony remembered someone or something that touched their lives in ways many cannot imagine.

Here's mine: My family and my existence (as all of us, really) was shaped by World War 2, both my Dad's parents escaped a difficult post war life in Europe to come to Canada around 1950. My Grandfathers Family was nearly completely eliminated by the atrocities carried out by the Nazi army in various concentration camps. When he came of age in post war Europe he had nothing else to lose after miraculously surviving the war under the guise as a catholic (He was young Jew child when the war ended). Upon arriving in Canada and meeting my Grandmother who fled the Netherlands, he gained freedom and soon a Family. My Father, myself, and my kids live because of it. My Grandfather never really did recover from the war through, I never met the man as he had passed before I was born due to too much smoking and drinking and the diseases that come with all of that. My Grandmother lived until 2018 and my kids got to know their Great Grandma very well, hearing the war stories from her was a requirement when we took her for lunch at the Swiss Chalet in Brampton in November and otherwise. She was able to live in 70+ years of freedom of this great country of ours and I'm incredibly thankful this Remembrance Day.

Take the time to remember yours and thank you for reading.

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [1142] (more) (contact)
Date: 11/11/2015 (search)
Railway: Waterloo Central (search)
Reporting Marks: STCR #9 (search)
Train Symbol: Veterans Extra (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Waterloo (search)
City/Town: Waterloo (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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4 Comments
  1. Stephen, it is an honour to read about your family history and the obvious close family connection with Nov 11th Remembrance Day. All I can say is “Wow” , what resilient and wonderful people your grand parents and parents were/are. We take for granted our peaceful way of life, it being far too easy to forget the lives lost, the personal sacrifices , the struggles of those just trying to survive. Long may your family stories of survival be told, hopefully again and again, “lest we forget”, to remind us of those horrible and horrific times, that we must never let happen again.

    I have very early childhood memories of ration coupons, saving them up for some ice cream, for an extra cut of meat, or half-pound of butter, sitting on my mother’s bed while she listened to the radio news announcing the Canadian & British forces crossing the Rhine River in March 1945, my mother crying hearing about VE Day, of running outside that day with my older sister to see a military plane overhead dropping leaflets, announcing the end of war in Europe and sitting on the curb watching the Queen’s Own Rifles marching up Bay St from Union Station on there return to Toronto. Three of her brothers served in WW2, one landing at Juno Beach on D-Day in the first wave and later in the liberation of Amsterdam ( a week later he acquired a Dutch war bride), another at Canadian Army GHQ in London during the day & at night on roof patrol trying to track V1 buzz bombs, helping in clearing rubble from those totally unannounced deadly V2 explosions, Thankfully they survived, but at least one suffered mentally for the rest of his shorter life.

    On another note, very interesting angle of the WCRR 2015 Remembrance Day special in Waterloo Square – well done, and love the 2 cabooses side by side. John

  2. Great story Stephen. I am sure that many people forget how lucky we are to live in this incredible country. We owe a great debt to those amazing men and women who fought and were injured or who paid the ultimate sacrifice so were are able to enjoy the freedoms that we have today.
    I have been honoured to stand on hallowed ground in the Canadian Cemetery in Beny Sur Mer, France and able to pay my respect to our fallen.
    I hope we always remember to thank our Veterans from every conflict that Canadians have served.
    LEST WE FORGET ????????

  3. John, And the same yours, while no doubt you were very young then, you lived through it and those memories are our connection to the past. Thank you for sharing them on this somber day.

    The angle was possible due to the Municipal parking garage nearby, which I have taken advantage a few times. Having worked in Waterloo for 10 years and photographed the regular Elmira train a number of times I knew to go there.

    Still a great angle if one can find a train..

    and thanks Phil.

  4. Remarkable story, Mr. Host !!!! Great read and very stirring events. All these years after the war, we all come together…..
    Briefly, in my own family, what there is of it; my father enlisted and all that but never made it overseas. He was on patrol in the Strait off Battle Harbour, Labrador, when his boat was destroyed in a ‘friendly fire’ incident. Very few survivors.
    Remarkable part of this story was we did not find out about it until a few weeks before he died when the hospital he was in accidentally gave him an overdose of ‘warfarin’ and it triggered off memories suppressed by 9 months in a Halifax hospital. All those years ago apparently he underwent a ‘deprogramming’ of his mind. Until the horror came back all of a sudden in the hospital room in Hamilton when he was 86, he had always thought he was in the hospital in Halifax suffering rheumatic fever. The last bit of his long life was racked by the reliving of the past.
    The shrapnel in his head he always thought he got from a training incident in Newfoundland.
    Not so.

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