Looking back at Remembrance Day 2015, still remembering

Remembrance Day has come and gone for another year, but it remains one of the most important days to me and holds a special place in my heart. It is important for everyone to remember throughout the year.

After concluding my stint in Ottawa in 2004, photographing for Veterans Affairs Canada, I thought of all those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, especially those very few WWII Vets and even fewer WWI Vets. I listened to some of their stories—some that were never even shared with their own families. I’m sure they didn’t want to put the weight of their horrors onto their loved ones, but they all still needed to talk about it, to remember and to justify their actions however tragic they were.

In 2009, I decided to do a small photo project to say Thank You for your service by photographing a hand full of Chinese Canadian WWII Veterans from Chinatown Unit 280. Since then, I have been helping with their photography needs and always attend the Remembrance Day Ceremony each year.

This year was no different. Only about three of the original sixteen Veterans I had photographed are left, and only one or two were able to attend.

This year I introduced one of my favourite Veterans, Mr. George Chow, to a friend of mine who teaches at an elementary school. She was interested in Mr. Chow meeting her grade 6 & 7 classes, to share his story and answer a few questions. It was a memorable day, and the students loved him. They invited him back for their school’s Remembrance Day Ceremony and paid homage to George.

Here are some photos from both of those events.

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Here are a few images from the Vancouver Chinatown Remembrance Day Ceremony.

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Leading up to Remembrance Day, the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society held their 70th Gala this year, to commemorate the end of the Second World War.

WWII Veteran Mr. George Chow was the recipient of one of the highest honours, a surprisingly big kiss from Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Hon. Romeo Dallaire during the Anniversary Gala dinner held in remembrance of the end of the Second World War.

Chinese Canadian Military Museum 70th Anniversary Gala

Over a dozen WWII veterans attended the sold-out event, honouring and remembering the fallen and those who have gone before them. The night featured a powerful and poignant address by Lt. Gen. Dallaire.

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