Share your VE-Day memory here

Ladysmith Legion branch asking the community to share its memories of what you did when the war ended

This shot from the Ray Knight collection shows Mayor Ernie Jameson gathering the community for a ceremony downtown at the corner of High Street and First Avenue

This shot from the Ray Knight collection shows Mayor Ernie Jameson gathering the community for a ceremony downtown at the corner of High Street and First Avenue

We all have them, those days you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing.

Days like when the twin towers fell, when Diana’s car rolled or when Neil Armstrong made his historic first steps.

But these days pale in comparison to May 7 and Aug. 15, 1945.

Everyone older than 80 remembers them vividly, the days the Second World War ended in Europe and in Japan.

The issue is how to make sure those memories are preserved when that generation passes.

The Ladysmith branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war with a special project designed to keep those memories alive.

Quite simply, the branch is posing the question “What were you doing the day the war ended?” to the entire community and recording the answers for posterity.

The project arose as a complement to a special ceremony being hosted at the branch on March 14, where local Second World War vets will be honoured  with a special commemorative lapel pin and certificate.

“We got a memo from B.C./Yukon Command and we just though it should be marked somehow,” Allyson Wagner, one of the volunteers working on the project, said.

“So many people who have so many memories and if we don’t get them they’re lost,” Georgina Lorette, another volunteer added.

Participation is simple. Just jot your story down in an email and send it to the Legion at rcl171@shaw.ca. Or if you aren’t comfortable doing that yourself, call the office at 250-245-2273 and they will connect you with a volunteer who will do an interview.

Children and grandchildren are urged to help the project by asking their elders the question themselves and passing along their responses.

The deadline is mid-June and the pair hopes they will be able to republish some of the stories in Legion publications and the Chronicle.

Lorette said she hopes the project will put a real face on how the momentous news affected our community.

“You don’t get stories in the history books,” she said. “You just get history.”

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