Monday, 11 November 2013

Lest We Forget

Today is a fairly solemn day in Canada as we pay our respects to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to guarantee our freedoms and liberties. We also need to pay respect to current veterans and current members of the Armed Forces, so I want to say thank you to all the men, women, and families who have been involved in the Canadian military. Thank you.

We have seen a few NHL players who gave their lives bravely in defending the country they love, and I'll run down a list of those men who brave gave their lives so that we can enjoy our great country today. The achievements of the men will also be listed so that we can appreciate how much these men sacrificed in giving their lives for our freedoms.
  • Allan McLean "Scotty" Davidson - WWI. Stanley Cup winner in 1914 with the Toronto Blueshirts, and posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950. Davidson was the first hockey player to volunteer in 1914 for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He died in battle on June 16, 1915 during a battle in Belgium after refusing to retreat. His name is written on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
  • Russell McConnell - WWII. Won four Canadian collegiate championships with McGill University before becoming the MVP of the Quebec Senior Hockey League in 1938-39. He turned down an offer from the New York Rangers after graduating for an opportunity to join the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. McConnell was a member of the crew of HMCS Raccoon when contact with his boat was lost on September 7, 1942 while hunting down a German U-boat in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. One month later, his remains washed ashore on Anitcosti Island where he was identified by his school ring.
  • Dudley "Red" Garrett - WWII. Garrett played 23 games on defence for the New York Rangers in 1942-43. Garrett served aboard a destroyer for the Royal Canadian Navy, but his life was lost when the destroyer was attacked and sunk on November 24, 1944. The AHL honoured Mr. Garrett by presenting the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award to its top rookie in 1947.
  • Joe Turner - WWII. He played a mere one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs in relief of Johnny Mowers. He was an AHL all-star goaltender in 1941, and helped the Indianapolis Capitals to a Calder Cup championship. In 1942, Turner joined the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant in Company K, 311th Infantry, 78th Division. He is officially listed as a missing person following the Battle of Hürtgen Forest in Germany where US troops suffered casualties of 33,000. He was honoured for his service by the IHL as they named their championship trophy, the Turner Cup, after him.
Of course, there were many more players who fought in both of the World Wars, as well as other conflicts, but these four men gave their lives while protecting our freedoms. These men deserve to rest in peace, and they deserve our time and effort in honouring their ultimate sacrifice. Many other men and women gave their lives as well, and many men and women still with us today lost friends, family, and loved ones. Thank them for their sacrifice because those men and women who gave their lives are truly heroes.

Until next time, go out and thank a veteran today.

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