I wrote the following in 1994 when I was 15. As tomorrow is Remembrance Day, I thought it might be fitting to share here today.
My grandfather fought in the war before my father was born, but he was lucky, he came home. When I was two months old, my grandfather was at our house on 12th, laying out cement in our garage, when he had a heart attack.
I never really got to know him, to hear his stories, or to feel his love, which I'm told he had a lot of. I never had a chance to tell him I loved him. Even though I can't remember him, I'm sure I did love him. And I never got to thank him for what he did for me fifty years ago.
He went to war, not because he wanted to, or agreed with it, but because he felt that he had to. Even though he doesn’t lie in Flanders Fields, nor did he die saving the world, he risked his life for me, and therefore Remembrance Day means a lot to me.
I look at his picture and I think, 'what kind of man was he?' I’ll never know for sure but I imagine him as being a hero, in a way, even though he never did anything particularly heroic. He merely did what he believed had to be done.
I just wish that he was here today so that I could call him up and thank him for giving me a better life.
November 10th 1994