On August 31, my uncle’s name, Allen Olimer, appears in the World War II Book of Remembrance, which contains the names of Canadians who died serving their country.
All the books are kept in the Memorial Chamber located in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.
Each day at 11 a.m. since 1942 a member of the House of Commons Security Services holds the Turning of the Page ceremony.
Two years ago, our family traveled to Ottawa to attend the ceremony. It was very moving.
We were treated like royalty right from the start.
André Boivin, Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms at the House of Commons, was our contact. He made sure we were greeted when we arrived at Centre Block, Parliament Hill and gave us access to two guides who stayed with us. They gave us a tour of the Peace Tower and later of the House, (with my children allowed to sit in the PM’s chair).
They asked people to give us our privacy as we waited for the ceremony. Once inside the Memorial Chamber, it was only my family and the security services officer who respectfully performed the ceremony.
It was a remarkable day for us.
The daily ceremony is open to the public. I encourage you to attend if you are in Ottawa.
Two years ago, I did not have a photo of my uncle. One has since been secured, which is above, and I have sent it to the appropriate party so that it can be included in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collections/virtualmem
My uncle died on Aug. 8, 1944 when the Allies mistakenly bombed their own.
Will be thinking of my uncle today and reflecting on his sacrifice and that of others.