Monday, April 9, 2012

Victory at Vimy; Defeat at the Burlington Public Library

As the granddaughter of a Canadian soldier, killed at Vimy, I am happy to see the effort that many Canadians have put into commemorating the 95th anniversary of this nation-defining event.

Most of us have never experienced war firsthand, paying lip service only at Remembrance Day.

We cannot remember what we have not learned, which is why I contacted the Burlington Public Library last week in order to donate a new copy of a book entitled, Dear Harry, The Firsthand Account of a World War I Infantryman. The late Lt.-Col. Gordon Atkinson, said of the work, “Fascinating and evocative of war. Tim Cook, First World War historian at the Canadian War Museum called it, a thrilling opportunity to gain insight into a little taught era in our heritage.

The Burlington Public Library said, “No thanks.” It seems there is no room in their stacks for a compilation of World War I letters, even at this time of commemoration. Some might view this as one more skirmish in the battle for support of the arts. I see it as a failure to honour our war dead.

It left me to wonder what they do have room for at the library.

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  1. Read the book, but not without a box of kleenex beside you!

    1. Thanks. And you knew the end of the story before you started reading it!

  2. One would think that a library would jump at the opportunity to feature an incredible account of Canadian history pertaining to the Great War and penned by a "local" author, particularly with the centennial anniversary looming.
    It would appear that the oft repeated phrase, "Lest we Forget..." means little to the BPL. What a shame.