Editor’s note: Second World War veteran Mabel Brannigan, 97, of Minden has joined with The Highlander to write a series of stories in the lead-up to the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. The 17-part series will run until Remembrance Day 2020.

By Mabel Brannigan

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Few veterans who were born in Haliburton County are living. I remember many who were raised in this county, and that is who this series is about. Many from other counties retired here, and hopefully their counties will write about them. This series includes only Haliburton County.

In 2020, I will be in my 97th year, and since I am writing mainly from memory, a 97-year-old brain needs all the help it can get. So, if I forget anyone who enlisted, I hope someone will be kind enough to remind me. Let’s make this a Haliburton County celebration.

Depending on what happens with COVID-19, Legions may have activities because their first and foremost dedication is remembrance of the veterans. There will be time for solemnity and prayer, and time for laughter and reminisces.

A very important thing is learning, as children will be invited via Legions to learn. After 2020, there will only be textbooks to learn from. As long as there is hate and greed, war will be with us. Just as D-Day was the beginning of the end, we begin our journey to the end of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Businesses are urged to fly special flags and municipalities to acknowledge the anniversary. The Left to Tell series will remind people how fortunate we are to live in peace and freedom in the best country in the world, especially in Haliburton County, and the price Haliburton County veterans paid to ensure that we have that opportunity today.

More than one million Canadians served in uniform between 1939 and 1945, an impressive number given the fact that Canada’s population at the time was only 11 million. Whether in the army, air force, navy or merchant navy, the challenges for our men and women were immense and the danger great.

Indeed, more than 45,000 lost their lives during the Second World War and more than 55,000 were wounded. These Canadians rallied together in extraordinary ways to defend the rights of all people to live in peace and freedom. It is due to their brave and courageous service that the struggle against tyranny and oppression was won.

Lest we forget.

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