Welcome to CanadianHeroes.org.
This site was originally created as an online archive for information discovered about my two Uncles, Loren Nelson and Henri Richard who were both killed during World War II.
When I was young, growing up I always recalled my Mother tell me about her brother Henri and what a great person he was. I also recall a photo of my Uncle Loren hanging on the wall at my Grandparents house in Sprague, MB. When I was young, these clues never really registered with me. I never really understood the magnitude of what had happened.
Later in life I became interested in this side of the family history. First I was fascinated by the service records of Henri and Loren. I researched the places that they visited and the battles they participated in. I wondered what the cemeteries that they were buried in were like. After doing my research I decided that a web site would be a great tribute to my two uncles.
I have been told that the site's name "Canadian Heroes" is misleading to some visitors. When some people come here they expect to see a history lesson of Sir John A. McDonald, Wayne Gretzky and Billy Barker. What they get instead is the story of two ordinary soldiers. This should be taken as an important lesson for everyone. There were thousands of "ordinary" soldiers that gave their life for Canada, and they should all be remembered as much as the more famous heroes that Canada knows.
A few years back I was asked to speak at a elementary school on Remembrances Day. Apparently the students had chosen Private Henri Richard as their Remembrance Day hero, and I was asked to give a speech. I wondered what I would say to these young children about Henri?
When the day arrived I was joined by my Aunt Georgette (Henri's sister) and we were given a special seat at the ceremony. When my turn came to give a speech I looked out and saw a gymnasium filled with fidgety children. How would I get their attention? I asked them to consider all the Canadians who lost their lives during past wars. Then, I asked them if they had any Uncles/Aunts or Grandfathers that had lost their lives during a war. I then told them that they should go home and ask their parents or grandparents about past relatives who might be their own "Canadian Heroes".
I know that some of them likely did as I suggested, and they might have learned more about some heroes in their own family.
I am also hoping that by discovering this web site some of you do the same.
9 Jul 07