“Veterans Affairs Canada, a federal entity, states that the date is of “remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace”; specifically, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and all conflicts since then in which members of the Canadian Forces have participated.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day#cite_note-8
Following are some of my family members that are serving, or have served, our country.
My son-in-law, Ian, has been with the military since he was 23 years old. Ian served in Afghanistan for seven months this year, from the beginning of January to the end of July. I am extremely thankful that Ian returned home safely. This is a picture of the medal Ian received when he completed his Afghanistan tour.
My daughter Christine and Ian were married in May, 2005.
My Grandfather, Leo Kunce (pronounced Koontz), served in WWII.
My Grandpa is the third row up and third in from the right in this group photo:
Grandpa Kunce returned home safely. He and my Grandma had seven children, including my mother, Millie (Mildred), who was born on November 7th, 1941. This photo was taken before their last two children were born. The man standing beside my Grandpa is my Grandma’s brother. Mom is the oldest child, the tallest girl in this picture.
Grandpa Kunce passed away in 1965. I was almost six years old and I adored my Grandpa.
My Grandpa’s brother, Fred Kunce, also served in WWII.
Fred met and married a woman named Daisy in England during his tour.
When the war was over, Daisy returned to Canada with Fred. They never had children but they enjoyed a long, happy marriage.
My Grandpa’s nephew Fred (“Freddie”) Smith also served in WWII.
Freddie wrote home to his family almost every week. His mother (my Grandpa’s sister), Zua, saved the letters and they were passed down to her daughter, Sylvia, who is now in her 70s. I did extensive research into my Kunce family history a few years ago and met Sylvia, who generously loaned me the letters and many old family pictures. It took me a few months, but I scanned every single fascinating page and picture.
Freddie and his uncle Fred (whom he was named after): Freddie also met and married, a woman named Eva, while serving overseas during WWII.
Tragically, Freddie was killed in the line of duty six weeks after he and Eva were married.
Eva had never met Freddie’s mother or father but she continued to write to them after Freddie was killed. I find it amazing, but Eva came to Canada to live with Freddie’s family. Eva eventually remarried and had a family. She remained in Canada for the remainder of her life.
My Great Grandfather, Irvin Kunce (seated left) and two of his sons: Fred (center) and Dana (right) served in WWI.
This Fred Kunce is the same Fred mentioned above; he also served in WWII. Dana lied about his age to get in to the military but when his true age was discovered, he was forced to leave. His attestation paper declared, “transferred and rejected, not being of age”.
Irvin, Fred and Dana all returned home safely. Irvin, his wife Ida, and their children had moved to Canada from the United States in the early 1900s. After the war, Irvin left Ida and returned to Illinois with his son Dana.
Dana was electrocuted at work and died at the tender age of 28, leaving behind a wife and two young children. Irvin remarried. Ida lived in Canada for the remainder of her life; she never remarried.
Wow…..I loved reading this blog. I only wish I knew about my family history like you do…I really admire how you took the time and extensive effort it takes to delve so deep into the past and are able to share every last detail in these amazing stories. What a way to honour your relatives Julie!!! Thanks for sharing this piece of your history and thanks to Ian for making our country a safe and sound place to live.
wow that was awesome!!! ditto to what Jen wrote!!!!!!great job……..
Julie J says
Thank you Jen and Amelia!