on this day, i thank all veterans and all soldiers, some still with us, and others not. if not for their belief in our freedom, we, in north america, would be living in much different circumstances. i am free because of those who served and fought, and because of those who are still serving.
the article below is from our island paper, the cape breton post. the 2 veterans referenced, grew up and still live in my home town. i hope that you enjoy their story.
Lifelong sweethearts share emotional wartime memories
Published on November 10, 2013
GLACE BAY — After 66 years of marriage, Art and Chris Lynk say they share everything. This time of year, that's especially true.
Chris said there are often times when she takes her husband's hand and they talk about times serving their country.
"Yes, there were often times we'd do that — 'Remember this, and remember that.' Also, the connection we had with a lot of friends in the service. A lot of them are gone now, we just don't have that connection anymore and we miss it."
Visiting Chris and Art at their home on Birch Street in Glace Bay, the deep connection between them is obvious.
Chris says the spark between them began in Grade 5.
She grew up on Maple Street and Art only a street behind on Brookside Street.
"He had his eye on me," she said, laughing about the crush they had on each other. "The kids used to tease me about him and I didn't agree with it. I was very shy when I was young."
However, throughout school the pair never dated. Art left school in Grade 10 and joined the Canadian Armed Forces. He was in the Governor General Horse Guards, in the tank corps. Chris left school in Grade 11 and joined the Canadian Air Forces, working as an office clerk stationed at Rockcliffe Airport outside Ottawa.
Art was only 19 years old when he joined the Canadian Armed Forces and was deployed to Italy.
"What shocked me the most was the poverty," he said.
He said outside their improvised mess hall was a barrel where soldiers would dump leftovers, everything from stew to tea.
"I remember a lady with a baby in her arms and a three-year-old by her side. She had her arm in this barrel of slop up to her sleeve, trying to find something solid to take up to feed her kids. It was shocking, but after a while we became used to seeing it."
Art says he doesn't remember being scared going overseas, admitting that at the time he didn't know any better. However, he remembers terrifying moments, such as being in a building that was bombed. He said there were five of them and an officer. Soldiers solidified deep bonds like brothers overseas, he said.
"It was our base, we had our tank parked outside. A shell came in and blew the stairway out," he said.
"No we didn't all make it out," he added in a quiet voice. "No ... not all."
About three years later, both Chris and Art were discharged close to the same time and had both moved back to Cape Breton.
"We lived so close to each other," Chris said. "Whenever I seem to go down the street, he'd be coming out of his house."
That's when they had their first date, at the movies.
Art had signed up to be deployed to Japan.
"That didn't happen, we were so happy about that."
In 1949, Chris and Art got married and had three children, Linda, Eric and Arlene.
Chris said they still go everywhere together.
"We go to all the things going on at the (John Bernard Croak Memorial branch 3) legion and at Newsom Church."
Art is also a member of the IOOF Aberdeen Lodge 68 and Chris is a member of the sister lodge, Jubilee Rebekah Lodge 14.
Art adds, "Don't forget fishing."
"We always fished together right up until a couple years ago, then Art began having back problems," Chris said.
The couple is also extremely active leading up to Remembrance Day. With such a strong significance for them both, they spend as much time as they can going to schools and talking to the youth about the war.
Chris remembers a couple years ago a little child coming up and asking her, "Do you always have that uniform on?"
Each year they also set up a table with a cross and wreath for a special Remembrance Day service held annually at Newsom Church.
The service was held Sunday. Chris always reads off names of those who died in the Second World War and Art reads names from the First World War.
Art admits it's emotional, but says it's important for them to do.
"Some of them are relatives," he said. "Yes . . . it's hard when you get to their names."
one last time, thank you to all veterans and serving soldiers. and please, at 11am, please take 2 minutes of silence to remember all that sacrificed for our freedom.