Archive for the ‘World War II’ Category

Mighty Casey Has Struck Out

May 25, 2009


Rios

Originally uploaded by dfallis

This lovely picture was taken by my friend Dave at a recent Blue Jays-Yankees game. We were sitting up in the 500 section at the Rogers Centre. He captured the ball in motion and Rios leg twisting into his swing. I am always amazed by the quality of photographs Dave takes, so please take the time to visit his Flickr page and enjoy his work.

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, which means lots of afternoon baseball, and poignant reminders of those who died in war. Canada partakes in this activity on November 11th, and this blog featured a few posts on the topic during that month. The combination of sports and war brings to mind the stories of many professional athletes who spent the 1940’s fighting overseas. My grandfather spent a portion of his time in England playing hockey with many NHL’ers, though he was only an amateur. Many of these men fought on the front lines during the war. I wonder, if a large war were to break out today (the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are obviously a smaller scale than WWII) how many of our athletes and other celebrities would line up to serve? It’s a much different question now because they are millionaires today, whereas in the 40’s they made salaries that were more in line with the average worker. It’s an intriguing question particularly since many professional athletes have the level of fitness and discipline needed to be ideal soldiers. The average Canadian or American probably doesn’t anymore. I hope we never find out.

I Now Remember

May 13, 2009

Yesterday I caught an enlightening documentary on the Canadian/British/American/Polish invasion of Italy, focusing specifically on the Canadian effort. I knew some bits and pieces about that part of World War II but was foggy on the details.  It made me realize that most of what I know about that war, or at least what I remember, relates to the events after D-Day in Normandy.  Thanks to the National Film Board I am able to bring you this wonderful documentary on Canada’s part in the war prior to June 6, 1944.  Some of the events are more well known, such as Dieppe, the Battle of Britain, and the North Atlantic convoys.  Yet I still think many of us forget that a lot of fighting took place before the final push from the beaches of France to the gates of Berlin. Long before the boats came ashore at Juno Beach, brave Canadian soldiers were fighting and dying among the remnants of the Roman Empire. Be warned, the following video is close to 1 hour long, but if you have the time, it’s well worth watching.  You can also see Part II and Part III of the big documentary on the NFB site.

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