Remembrance Day takes on new meaning for locals

While Sgt. Glenn Duffield and Bob Anderson’s battle experiences were a generation apart, both lived by the words service before self.

Veteran Al McNeil spends a moment with Emily Kay of Playshare Preschool at the downtown cenotaph Tuesday along with the wreathe she and her classmates placed there in remembrance of the men and women who served and continue to serve their country. Below - Cadet Flight. Sgt. Kierran Godbold of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. At bottom - Sgt. Glenn Duffield of the BC Dragoons speaks to students at Penticton Secondary School.

Service before self.

While Sgt. Glenn Duffield and Bob Anderson’s battle experiences were a generation apart on their respective battlefields, both lived by those words.

But they are also the same words many of their fellow comrades died by in the service of their country.

For Duffield, now 46, the real significance of the phrase didn’t hit home until his term with the Canadian Forces in 2009/10 in Afghanistan.

No matter what the physical conditions

were, or the mental stress of fearing for his life day and night, or seeing the military and civilian casualties, the focus was always on getting the job done.

“Our whole purpose over there was to tr

y and bring stability to the district in Kandahar province (Afghanistan). That’s what we were there to do,” said Duffield, who was a member of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) armoured regiment. “You were constantly on guard because you just didn’t know what was going to happen, you had to be constantly watching, you didn’t let your guard down, you couldn’t b

ecause you had a mission to accomplish.”

Working now as BC Dragoons regimental quarter master, the veteran was the guest speaker at the Penticton Secondary School Remembrance Day ceremonies held Nov. 10.

According Duffield, Remembrance Day, while it was always a somber, and important day, but it took on a much greater significance after his tour of duty.

“It means so much more now, it’s so personal; that’s what Remembrance Day has become,” he said. “After I came back the first few (Remembrance services) were really hard, they were really hard. It’s one of those days where you look at the guys you’re standing with and you feel a lot of pride. It’s when you go home afterward that find that you’re still reflecting and takes me about a good solid week to get over it.”

The flashbacks for him were the kids brought to the military medical facilities after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) or the injured Canadians rolling through the forward base camps to be airlifted by helicopter and sent a ticket home.

“Every single (Remembrance) day that I’ve been back now, when you hear the pipes playingAmazing Grace … I don’t think anybody’s who’s got that Afghan campaign star on their chest, I don’t think there’s a dry eye,” said Duffield. “Talking to the students today I just want to instill some of that. I would just like them to, more than anything, walk up to a veteran, especially those in the Second World War and the Korean War and ask them about their medals, to take the two minutes and just say thanks or go to a Remembrance ceremony.”

Anderson, 93, also recalled the difficult conditions he faced while serving as a bomber pilot overseas in the Second World War.

“So many of our bombing (torpedo) missions we were flying were at night and we’d be just 50 feet over the water,” said Anderson, who spent three years at the controls of  Wellington aircraft and more often than not, coming under enemy fire. “They would last six or seven hours but we were there to do a job and you did it.

“I think I’m one of the lucky ones. There were a lot crews that didn’t make it, so I feel privileged.”

He also participated in Remembrance ceremonies Tuesday,   this one at Athens Creek Lodge, which he now calls home.

“I do think it is important to remember those people who did so much for all us, although there are a lot of things about the war I don’t want to remember and there is a lot of stuff I would never repeat,” he said. “There should never be war and then maybe we would not have to remember.”







Just Posted

PHOTOS: What makes a winning Caesar?

Three local bartenders competed to make the best Caesar in Penticton

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

OHA alumna welcomed as new assistant coach for women’s varsity team

Alyssa MacMillan attended OHA from 2011 to 2016

Celebrate harvest at the Naramata Tailgate Party

30 wineries will be offering tastings at the Naramata Heritage Inn on Sept. 14

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okangan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Osoyoos woman who threatened mom and baby with butcher knife sentenced

Sharon Constance Forner pleaded guilty to one criminal charge and was sentenced

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read