At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, people throughout the southeast will be taking a moment to remember the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
For Wayne and his wife Sandee Pauls, it’s a time to reflect as they remember their father and veteran George Pauls, who served in the infantry in World War II. George passed away a few years ago at age 88 here in Steinbach.
Wayne explains his father’s journey during the war.
"He went overseas in 1944, he had trained as artillery in Canada but when he got to Britain, they were losing infantry so fast that they retrained him as infantry. In August of 44, he went to France and he and his brigade were in charge of clearing the ports. Making sure that the shoreline, the ports, and everything was free of Germans. On his way through France, Belgium, the north shore there, he was wounded actually in Holland and that’s where he lost part of his hand then eventually he lost his whole hand in battle."
Wayne says for him Remembrance Day is a time to remember the hundreds of thousands of men and women who made a sacrifice for the freedom that we now get to enjoy today.
Sandee notes Remembrance Day is very important in their home.
"We always go to the service so that’s important. The wreath laying has happened after his death, before that we went with him and watched the service and saw all of the veterans there. After he passed away the wreath was quite special and moving to honour him that way and also to see all the other people laying wreaths. It’s really quite a poignant moment, so that’s important."
Wayne says it's always been important for their children to take time to think about Remembrance Day. He adds they remember their grandfather in a very special way noting they go to their own services and remember him that way. Wayne says what his father did after the war was almost more significant than what he did during the war.
"I think when he came home, well he had one hand only, but you’d be surprised what he was able to accomplish with that. He became a community builder, he got involved in everything from little league, to hockey, to golf and curling and there wasn’t anything that could stop him from doing what he wanted. It was quite amazing."
Back in 2003, Wayne went to Europe with his father for the first time since the war, for the opening of the Canadian War Museum on Juno Beach. Wayne notes it was a fantastic experience attending such a large events with thousands of veterans present.
Wayne notes the George Pauls Classic golf tournament is an event that was named after his father 31 years ago and says it's an event their family looks forward to all year long. Wayne says there's a lot of holes where you have to perform something one-handed in honour of George noting that's all part of the fun of it.