Nelson Atkinson was a friend of mine  although a generation ahead I had some good times with him as he lived out his life after surviving the D day Normandy landing and its further push to the end of the Second world war. He had a logging truck here after the war for a time and hauled logs in a single axle Mac truck for Nicola Valley sawmills ( now Tolko industries.) later he was the maintenance man at the memorial arena. His wife worked for Ted Taylor another veteran and the local jeweler that sold me my rings for my marriage.

All these people thought that  they were lucky to be alive .

Nelson said that he was fond of turning up his collar on his Battle Dress tunic , when challenged by the Sergent ” that’s not regulation ” he replied ” who are we fighting here sarge the Nazis or what” . To be sure the man drove an ammunition truck across the mulberry, man-made harbour at Juno beach in 1944 but he raised an important question. “who are we fighting” as in all conflict it is not as simple as an apparent enemy as the fight is also about defining your values and what you will live for.

Nelson had a name sake. A man with the same first and last name, but Canon Nelson Atkinson was the priest at the local St Michael’s church on Chapman street and Granite ave. He was also the last commander of the local Mortar platoon support company, of the Rocky Mountain Rangers, here in town. The unit was cut and the armoury sold to a local service organization for a dollar in the 1070’s; so they are both gone. However the definition of what we are remains in part by those imputs and will go on in the mighty tension of time .

Cheers to what we are and who we fight  and its results that will affect us all.

Today in History: June 6,1985

The buried body of Wolfgang Gerhard is discovered to be that of Josef Mengele ” The angel of death” of the Nazis concentration camp system.

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