Day 3: Commemoration Services at the Canadian Military Cemetery of Groesbeek
CTV Video Coverage on the event. Yes - you can spot us in this video! http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=605918
May 3rd also marked the special commemoration at the Canadian cemetery of Groesbeek. We were honoured to be there - paying special attention to Aubrey Cosens grave site - the posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross - Cosens was the first to earn one in the Third Canadian Division in this war.
Aubrey Cosens was from a remote mining and lumber frontier and had been a railway laborer before enlisting. That day he personally killed twenty of the enemy and captured twenty more, leading his platoon of teenagers to a famous victory. But only minutes after securing his position he was killed by a sniper on his way to report to his Company commander.
Top Picture: My group photography skills came in handy today, proud to take one of the first group shots while on tour!
Frank Fordham added about Cosens: "Picture some guy who was capable of being in the bush, handling those types of situations - he was a really tough guy, with an outstanding military record. His only blemish was getting a little drunk with his friends while on leave in Jamaica. But I think, every soldier is entitled to do a little something like that!"
A school group from Ottawa, dressed in orange also stood among the rest of us today - for the year leading up to the anniversary of the Liberation, each student was assigned a soldier who was buried in the cemetery - and had spent the school year researching the life of their soldier and their efforts. It was today that they finally had the chance to meet their soldier - many of whom weren't prepared for the shock that comes with seeing the graves here for the first time - knowing their story inside and out. Not a singe student with an orange sweatshirt had a dry eye - it was an emotionally invigorating experience for us to witness - one that gave us hope for the next generations commitment to never forget what unparalleled sacrifice was made here.