Howard George Gibbons (1915-1998) was born and raised in Owen Sound.  At the ripe old age of 19 he volunteered in the Canadian Army.  As thousands were serving and giving their lives for freedom and for their country Howard would not sit idly by and watch.  He and his three brothers all volunteered and proceeded to Petawawa.  Here Howard was trained in hand to hand combat. 

As Howard, now trained and equipped, joined thousands of other young men and went to war.  It was both exciting and terrifying.  It would affect Howard for the rest of his days.  Nothing however could prepare him for the call that would come.  On June 6, 1944 during the Second World War,  Howard and thousands of others stormed Juno Beach participating in the marked event of the war.  Records tell us that 5,500 were killed during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day.  Howard was among the survivors; but, the emotional impact of that event would never leave him.

Once the war was over and Howard returned home to Owen Sound. Years later, every Sunday he would put on his suit coat and pin a Service Metal on his lapel proudly; adjusting it as necessary.  This pin was given to all the young men who actually volunteered.  They were not conscripted, they were not pressured or told to go—they volunteered.  And each Sunday Howard would wear his little pin.  On the back of the pin the following words were inscribed—if you wear this pin and you did not volunteer—you will be fined $500.00.

November 11nth became for Howard a day of remembrance.  It was almost a holy day for him.  As an employee of the Lands and Forrest, he always took the day off, for this special day.  Howard would suit up, wear all his metals, and hand in hand with his young son Lorrie, participated in Remembrance Day Services.

Thank you Howard George Gibbons—we remember you!  And that, is something to think about. 

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