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Random House, Inc. In the tradition of Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation and the bestselling Flags of Our Fathers, Blake Heathcote brings together stirring and fascinating first-hand accounts from the Canadian military personnel who fought in the Second World War.
Each interview in Testaments of Honour: Personal Histories of Canada’s War Veterans begins with the question: “Why did you go?” In answering this question, history comes alive in the words and memorabilia of the veterans themselves, and through then-and-now photographs. These stories are undeniably powerful: a bomber relives the terror of his night-blind raids and the controversy of some of his attacks; one prisoner of war describes the unlikely friendship that developed between a German soldier and two of his Canadian prisoners. In every case, veterans detail their war years not to entertain or remember, but to understand themselves and be understood by others. In the words of our veterans — their memories and their unspoken courage — we see a mirror of who we are as a nation.
“Canadian Veterans understand that life is a gift. They know this because they were given the chance to marry, to raise families, and build careers, when those who stood next to them in battle had these possibilities denied them. Our vets know what their lives cost and that to be Canadian means to have been given the boon of selfless determination. They also know that each of us is living on mortgaged time, because the men and women of their generation left their own lives to put their community and country first. We owe our veterans a debt. As you read these stories, look up from your own life and remember those who made it possible.” — From the Introduction to Testaments of Honour