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Canadian war memorial カナダの戦没者追悼式

December 9, 2008

Eight a.m., December 8th, 1941.  That was when the invasion of Hong Kong by the Japanese forces began.  Among the British, Hong Kong and Indian contingent defending Hong Kong were close to 2000 Canadian troops.  More than 550 died either in battle or in prison camps.  Of the veterans who did survive the camps to return home, they hold the distinction of being among the first Canadians in the Second World War to see battle and the last to be freed.

Oddly, in school I don’t ever remember learning that Hong Kong was involved in WW 2 let alone that Canadian soldiers were there defending it.  It wasn’t until I arrived here to live that that part of Canadian history became known to me.  I don’t know if things have changed in Canadian schools, but I doubt it.

On Sunday, the Canadian consulate hosted a memorial service at Sai Wan War Cemetery to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the beginning of hostilities in that conflict.  It was well attended but there were only a couple of veterans from that conflict in attendance.  Before too long, there will not be any eye-witnesses to WW 2 left.

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