Remembrance Day, and the days leading up to and following it, is probably the busiest time for us. You'll find us attending events locally and outside the region, giving talks, offering outreach and tours. Of course, we do this year-round. Remembrance, for us, isn't simply a day in November, nor a few timely events linked to anniversaries, but it is for many others, and we understand that.
Yesterday was Remembrance Day and as usual, we were busy. Manager Maya and Volunteer Bethany set up the booth early at the Remember November 11 Association's reception and luncheon, held annually at Centennial Hall. They headed to the ceremony at the Cenotaph, and then promptly when it ended, trotted back up the street to meet and greet visitors to the reception. They met many people, civilians, veterans, cadets, enlisted, and talked about the our role in preserving the history of Canadians on radar.
One particular moment stood out amongst all the conversations and faces. A veteran of the Second World War strode up to the table and presented his tie, which had a pattern of De Havilland Mosquitoes on it, explained he used to fly them. Then he said something quite unique.
"I want to thank you." His jocular manner became more serious. "I want to thank you, your folks, for bringing me home. I used to fly Pathfinders. More than once we had nothing but radar to get us home again. Without it... well. Thank you."
At Radar, we usually do the thanking. Thanking veterans for their service. Thanking visitors for their donations. Thanking volunteers for their time. Yesterday, on behalf of all our radar operators and mechanics, we received the thanks of one grateful bomber crewman. It was deeply touching and came as such a surprise, Manager Maya completely forgot to get his name or a photograph.
So, to the mystery Mosquito veteran, thank YOU for making our day. And if you happen to see this post, please tell us your name.