We Were Freedom
In October, The Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War will launch We Were Freedom: Canadian Stories of the Second World War . The book, published by Key Porter of Toronto, features a foreword by Andrew Cohen, President of the Historica-Dominion Institute, and an introduction, conclusion, and section summaries by noted military historian Tim Cook. Organized thematically, the work highlights 65 of the over 1,400 veteran profiles gathered by the project between July 2009 and May 2010.
We Were Freedom: Canadian Stories of the Second World War launches in October, 2010. Published by Key Porter Books of Toronto.
The stories reflect the diversity of Canadian experiences during the Second World War, all in the veterans’ own words. Readers will find all branches of service, ethnic and religious backgrounds, languages – a French language version of We Were Freedom is forthcoming – military occupations, regions, and social classes represented. The profiles include veterans of the Canadian services and those who are now Canadian citizens, regardless of nationality during the conflict (for more information on this, please see my blog post of February 24, 2010, “The Memory Project and Non-Canadian Veterans”). While this sets our book apart from other publications, another factor makes the work unique: images chosen almost exclusively from veteran-submitted material. The ability to read the transcript of a veteran speaking in his or her voice and view exclusive artefacts provides a personal take on the 1939-45 conflict. The work also provides the opportunity to compare the stories told 65 years after the end of the war with those told at other times; ultimately, these are memories that have lingered for individuals over many decades, especially since the veterans spoke on whatever subjects were of the most interest to them.
We Were Freedom: Canadian Stories of the Second World Warproudly evokes The Memory Project’s central goal of creating a legacy for future generations. The preparation of this book proved to be a major challenge, but it was also an incredibly rewarding experience. The work of choosing the profiles was particularly difficult, as the small number ultimately selected meant that many other excellent veteran profiles could not be used – however, interviews will continue until March 2011 and the success of the first volume may well necessitate the publication of a second.
We Were Freedom: Canadian Stories of the Second World War