My father knew war.
Born in January 1937 in Romania, the Second World War broke out when he was just two years old, and ended when he was a young boy of eight years of age. During those six years, his family lost their home, became refugees, and witnessed the horrors of war in Europe. It left an indelible scar on the memory of my father, and of everyone that lived through it.
In the early 1950's, my grandfather made the decision that Canada would be the place that his family would immigrate to and start over. They settled in the Edmonton area. Life was difficult for those families.
There were many that came to Canada after the war. They didn't know the language, or the culture. A few years earlier their country was at war with the country in which they settled. It must have been difficult to fit in, and to be accepted.
I remember as a young boy, that my family and the families of other German immigrants would go to church together, have picnics in the park together. We had our own community. It's a memorable time. We never knew war, and it was never talked about much. The scars were still too fresh for many that lived through it.
It's impossible for my generation to know what it was like to experience those times. My father never talked about what he experienced. He took the trauma to his grave a few years ago. I'm grateful for all of the Canadian men and women, and their families, that paid the price so that my family would have a place to call home, and live in peace for generations to come.
I have always had a roof over my head, a warm place to sleep, and have experienced peace and prosperity. I'm thankful that my grandfather took a risk, got on a ship to go to a strange land so that his children for generations to come would have a better life.
I was born in May 1961, in Canada. I have never known war.