Opinion Editorial

The Legion does a lot of good for the community 0

By Heather Sutherland, Barry's Bay This Week

This week, I got to sit down with some Legion and Ladies’ Auxiliary members.

We were chatting about the history of the Legion and what it means to be member of this long-standing organization, which is all about to be celebrated during Legion Week coming up next week.

Chatting with the members got me thinking about remembrance and the whole concept of the Legion.

It truly is a great organization.

Not only does it work to support veterans and their families, it also promotes remembrance along with community support.

All those things resonate with me. If you recall from my previous editorials, all four of my grandparents were involved with the Second World War effort in various ways.

My dad’s dad was in the navy and my mom’s dad was a Bren gunner.

He was wounded during the war and spend two years in the hospital recovering and the rest of his life with only half his stomach and intestines.

At the time my grandparents were going through the war, they were close to the age I am now. This is something that is really hard for me to grasp. I just cannot imagine living in the world in which they lived, going through the things they had to go through, at this age.

I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the beaches and battlegrounds where war was waged in Europe and those experiences really affected me.

But what affects me more is hearing the stories that veterans have to share.

Closer to the end of his life, my mom’s dad opened up more about his war experience and shared stories with us.

Through work, I’ve been fortunate enough to hear stories from local veterans.

At school, I got to learn more about Afghanistan veterans and about a fallen soldier who had been stationed in Petawawa.

While hearing these stories can be heartbreaking or tough to fully understand as a civilian, they are always fascinating and need to be told.

So many people have been a part of war and so many paid the ultimate sacrifice.

It is so important, therefore, that the Legion and the public continue to work to ensure those lives and experiences are not forgotten.

Talking to the Legion members reminded me of the importance of actively remembering all year, and how much it also matters to those members.

Combining those values then with general community support is like a win-win situation.

The Legion works hard to not only provide support for veterans, it also funds youth sports, seniors programs and housing and gives money to other important causes.

I mean really, how cool is that?

The Legion is an important organization in this community and any community it serves.

I hope people continue to see its value and work to ensure it thrives because, unfortunately, there will always be veterans in this world of conflict and there will always be a need to support the community.

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