I feel very honoured to be chosen by BC/Yukon Command to be the representative on this year’s Legion Youth Pilgrimage of Remembrance. I have been a Legion member for over 25 years. I served with the PPCLI [Canadian Forces] from 1986 to 1988 but due to a hip injury my career was cut short.  I became involved with the Cadet Organization and become a CIC Officer in 2002.

The Pilgrimage to me is about connecting with the past to pass it on to the future. During my years in the Legion I have met so many wonderful people. None more so than Mr. Charles Finch, he was the President of the South Similkameen Branch when I became a member in 1988.  Mr. Finch was very welcoming to me; one of the fondest memories in the early years was being invited to visit Veterans on Remembrance Day.  Mr. Finch, Mr. Ritchie, Mr. Sanderson (all WWII Veterans) the Padre and I, armed with a bottle of rum set off on the afternoon of Remembrance Day.  After the service, and hot stew served by the Ladies Auxiliary, we set out visiting Veterans and widows of Veterans. As a young Legion member just out of the military it was an amazing afternoon listening to their stories of the war years and after when they came home. Stories about how they started family’s and built the communities that we now call home.  Sadly all those fine Veterans have passed away.

So it has become my voice to continue on their stories, not only for those that came home but a voice for the “Silent Witnesses” from the war, those thousands left behind but not forgotten that remind us of our legacy and duty to Remember always.

– Shaun

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