Jack Babcock, Canada’s last surviving World War I veteran passed away today at the age of 109. A Globe and Mail article briefly describes his experiences, and his take on being the last member of a generation. Babcock seemed keen to point out that the true honours should go to his friends and fellow soldiers who saw much more action than he did. Nevertheless, our country closes a connection with his death. Our memories of one of the most pivotal events in our nation’s history – the first great pivotal moment as well – shall, from this moment forward, be shaped without any further first-hand accounts. As we struggle with our role in armed missions today, it is important to remember our nation’s history is filled with young men and women willing to serve.
I encourage you to read the article, and note that Babcock’s words at the end may be rather simple, but ring all too true.