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July 20, 2006
“I Remember” captures wartime reflections of Toronto seniors
At a ceremony today at Bendale Acres, Toronto Homes for the Aged launched “I Remember . . . Reflections on World War II,” which captures the thoughts and reflections of 18 seniors on their lives during the Second World War.

The book tells a series of stories from residents and one volunteer in Toronto’s 10 homes, and includes experiences ranging from getting ready for that first parachute jump to flying bombing missions in a black sky to learning how to drive a tractor. In many cases, family members helped contributors tell their stories.

Councillor Gay Cowbourne (Ward 44 Scarborough East), Chair of the Roundtable on Seniors, presented a copy of the book to a resident of Bendale Acres, representing all of the residents of Toronto Homes for the Aged, and also to a youth volunteer, representing the future generations who will benefit from reading about their elders’ impressions and experiences.

“We dedicated this book to the residents of Toronto Homes for the Aged, because we wanted to thank them for the many roles they played during World War II, both on the front lines and on the home front,” said Councillor Cowbourne. “This isn’t just another history book. It looks at what people felt and thought, and gives a glimpse of how a global conflict has shaped Canada, and the world, that we see today.”

Contributors were interviewed in 2005, as part of the celebrations for the Year of the Veteran, and their stories were crafted to provide an insight into the collective psyche of a world at war. Some residents looked back fondly on life during the war, while others vividly remembered a darker side: the tragic and traumatic experiences that still haunt them more than 60 years later. The book includes reflections from both perspectives, because they are both important parts of the humanity, and the inhumanity, of the Second World War.

Books will be presented to residents in Toronto Homes for the Aged, and also distributed to schools, libraries, veterans’ organizations and other interested groups, to ensure that the memories, the experiences and the reflections it contains continue to be shared with future generations.

Toronto Homes for the Aged is committed to providing services that respect, support and enable residents and clients to have the highest possible quality of life. “I Remember . . . Reflections on World War II” helps to meet this commitment by sharing and celebrating the unique wartime experiences of 18 very special people.

Media contact:

Rosemary Bennett
Toronto Social Development
Finance & Administration
416-328-4402 (pager)



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