Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tribute to the Greatest Generation

On Saturday I was listening to The Vinyl Cafe from CBC radio while running some errands. They were talking about the upcoming Veteran's Day holiday and sharing some wonderful stories that got me feeling a bit teared up. It got me thinking about my father who was wounded in combat while serving in Italy during WWII.

A number of years ago I sent my father a copy of Tom Brokow's The Greatest Generation as a birthday gift. He usually doesn't read a lot of books, but he just couldn't put this one down. It seemed to open up a flood of memories for him and he started sharing all kinds of stories from his war experience. At one point, I said to my Dad, "You really should write these stories down!" I was quite surprised to find that he actually took my suggestion and started recording his memories on a yellow legal pad.

When he finished, I typed out his story, printed it out, and put it in a binder. I inserted scanned images of pictures, documents, and his medals and made a cover. I know this is something that he treasures, and since then I have printed numerous copies that he has shared with others.

So this is my clever suggestion for Veteran's Day - if you want a great gift for someone in your family, use digital tools to turn their special memories into some kind of document!

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