Operation Husky: Reflections on a forgotten story
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As a young girl, I remember walking to the grocery store with my dad on a hot July day. There, along the side of the building, sat three old men silently soaking up the heat. With their eyes half-shut, they reminded me of a row of birds on a wire watching the hours pass.
“See that old man in the centre?” my dad whispered. I nodded, trying not to stare. “He fought in the First World War. You should never forget that.” I don’t recall anything else about that day, but I have never forgotten my father’s words.
As time separates us from the past, I think we need to make a conscious effort to honour the Canadians who fought for justice and freedom. This July, I’ll be doing just that by going to Sicily and walking in the footsteps of the more than 25,000 Canadian soldiers who stormed the beach near Pachino in 1943 and eventually liberated the island.
I’ll also be creating a set of lesson plans to teach young Canadians about this pivotal but often overlooked military campaign. These learning materials, which will be strengthened by my on-the-ground research, will explore the subject both historically and geographically.
Canadian Geographic Education has created classroom activities on Operation Husky. Please go to www.cangeoeducation.ca.
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