In my Jan.13 post, I commented on the passing of a certain type of character at the death of British WW2 veteran Bernard Jordan at age 90. He was the “great escaper” from the Pines Care Home in England who ran off to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day last year.
Well I cannot let the loss last month of Canadian WW2 veteran Ernest Côté go unmentioned. Another example of “D-Day Vets: A Disappearing Act to Follow”, Mr. Côté passed away at the age of 101. He made the news just before Christmas – robbed in his Ottawa home, left to die with a plastic bag over his head. Luckily, he had one last fight in him and survived the attack.
Proof again of “old soldiers never die”, Ernest did able the police to lead them to arrest the same man who was subsequently charged with three counts of first-degree murder from 2007.
In his last fight, he is now famous for the line – “I was never afraid. I was madder than a wasp. Wasps ain’t afraid; they’re mad.” With that, I heard echoes of my father’s voice.
While the longevity of the some 88,000 WW2 veterans still alive in Canada is still to be recognized, there will be a time when this generation will have “simply faded away”. Yet we cannot simply say that there are no more of those with Jordan and Côté character being born any more. Is not some of that character rubbing off on the elbows of a new generation?