BY KEITH LACEY
Wally Cole doesn?t believe what he did 65 years ago was a big deal, but millions of Canadians disagree.
Cole, 91, enlisted in the Canadian Army back in 1943, and while he never served overseas, he contributed to the Canadian war effort by guarding German and Japanese prisoners of war.
Cole and 15 other residents of Extendicare Falconbridge were honoured recently for their heroic efforts during the Second World War during a special celebration ceremony organized by Cindy Rose, resident program manager at the senior?s residence on Falconbridge Road.
?This is very nice, very good,? said Cole, commenting on the event held as part of Year of the Veteran Celebrations across Canada.
When you were a young man in Canada back in the early 1940s, it was ?almost automatic? that you enlisted to fight for your country, said Cole.
?It?s what we all did,? he said.
Rose said the modesty shown by Cole is common among Canadian veterans, but she believes younger generations must never forget how much these people contributed to make Canada one of the great places to live in the world.
?This is the Year of the Veteran and November is the month of remembrance, so I thought it was appropriate to hold this special event to honour those still
with us for their important contributions to our country,? said Rose.
?Many of these veterans don?t think what they did was any kind of big deal, but we can?t ever forget their contributions.
?My goal with this event is to show them we still care and make them realize what they did was very important to our country and we haven?t forgotten.?
Each of the 16 veterans who reside at Extendicare Falconbridge were given special certificates of appreciation by Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci and Sudbury MP Diane Marleau.
Members of their families and friends are also invited to participate in the tea and luncheon.
Other Canadian Second World War veterans honoured Wednesday were: Louis Cole, West Hobin, Jake Jarvenin, Lillian Cartier, Robert Pilgrim, Leslie Sanio, Tom Shea, Hert Stuart, Lionel Vincent, Joyce Hartman, Harvey James, Vernon Marks, Thomas Demaynck, Albert Seawright and Gordon Hurley.