‘They Sacrificed their todays for our tomorrows.’
By Megan Dudeck
Three tables sit at the entrance of the Windsor Park United Church. The tables are barely visible through the crowd of people gathering around them. They are covered with fading letters, maps, medals, pictures, a wool military uniform, and a rusting grey plaque. The plaque reads ‘Armstrong Lake named in memory of W.O. W.D. Armstrong M.M. 1919 – 1945.’
“I have two great-uncles that I never got to meet, but they are still worth remembering,” said Ian Waters as he spoke into a microphone behind a wooden podium to a crowd of 160 church patrons.
Ian Waters and his great-grandmother Grace Wilson told the story of Walter Armstrong, Wilson’s brother. Wilson read allowed a letter sent from her brother in 1942 during the Second World War. He never came back for his assignment.
With only geographical co-ordinates in hand, Waters set out towards northern Saskatchewan to find his uncle’s GeoMemorial. The GeoMemorial program honours those killed in action during the Second World War. Lakes, islands, and bays throughout Saskatchewan are renamed after those soldiers.
“It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” said Waters describing his journey to find his uncle’s plaque.
After several plane rides, four hours of driving down a gravel road, a broken car window, and two hours of searching around Armstrong Lake, Waters found his uncle’s plaque.
“The people that have given their lives for us today have gone to great lengths. So it’s appropriate that we go to great lengths to remember them today.”
The crowd became silent as high school trumpet player Robert Binyon played Last Post. After a moment of silence Minister Sharon Wilson concluded the service about the importance of wearing a poppy.
“It’s a symbol about remembering, to help us remember the stories. Stories about war, which help us remember what peace is.”