November 12, 2012 Features & Images » Feature Story

Lest we forget 

click to flip through (5) Roy Buchholz (right) with a friend at Trafalgar Square, London, U.K. during his service in WW II.
  • Roy Buchholz (right) with a friend at Trafalgar Square, London, U.K. during his service in WW II.

Page 9 of 11

Suddenly, I felt that I was no longer a stranger, an outsider looking in on society from without and living solely for my own purposes.

I felt connected and that I was now a part of a greater history.

I was so surprised and touched when relatives, friends, and strangers congratulated me with such obvious sincerity.

But, at the same time, my father cautioned me that, as a parent, I had now become a Hostage to Fate.

Two and a half years later, on Father's Day, I again willingly allowed myself to become a hostage when my son, Nathan, was born.

I never worked another Remembrance Day after my daughter was born. Instead, it became a day of joy and a little girl's birthday party even as I was reading aloud to my children on a regular basis and instilling in them notions of heroic deeds performed by innocent heroes in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Wizard of Oz.

I was also aware that by having my children be born here in Calgary I had made them "hostages to Canada's fate" and its pursuit of peace, order, and good government.

I was still reading aloud to Nathan stories like the terrors of a young soldier in The Red Badge of Courage and the timeless nature of evil in Camus' classic, The Plague when Nathan more fully embraced his fate by joining the King's Own Calgary Regiment of the Canadian Forces the week after his 18th birthday in June, 2001.

So, exactly two months after 9/11, I attended my first Remembrance Day ceremony at the Military Museums here in Calgary to watch Nathan standing handsome, strong, and vital in his new uniform. This now meant that for several years our family routine became the service at the museums and then a birthday party.

Then in late 2006, Nathan decided to embrace his fate even more fully when he decided to volunteer for the Canadian Forces Afghan Mission and he was selected to train for nine months to operate the Leopard tanks, which Canada was first deploying into the theater in Kandahar.

On Sept. 24, 2007, the last day I worked as a courier on the streets of prosperous and secure downtown Calgary, I had been home from work only a few moments when my doorbell rang and I stepped into the moment that will now forever mark for me the boundary between what was "before" and what will be "after."

Three Canadian Forces officers, in full dress uniform, stood at my door and in that instant I knew, even before I heard the beyond-horrible news, that my beloved, only son, my perfect Father's Day gift, was lost to me forever.

Readers also liked…

  • Mind Maze

    How young adults are navigating the path to mental health in Whistler
    • Mar 25, 2018
  • Dream team

    The First Nations snowboard team that's about way more than just shredding
    • Mar 15, 2018

Latest in Feature Story

  • Your Vote 2019:

    The Pique guide to #Elxn43
    • Oct 18, 2019
  • Deadly decisions

    Critics say the BC Conservation officer Service is overly reliant on lethal force—it maintains they are only seeing a 'snapshot' of what they do
    • Oct 11, 2019
  • Whatcha Smokin'?

    Canadians face lifetime bans to U.S. over past cannabis use, CBD oils and social media posts
    • Oct 4, 2019
  • More »

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation