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Education urged as Grande Prairie remembers

A local veteran hopes the passing of 100 years since the end of the First World War is an educational opportunity for Canadians. Sam Crowshaw spent several years in both the Royal Canadian Navy and Air Force, and he encourages people in Grande Prairie to use this Remembrance Day to learn more about those who have served.

“I hope that they take it upon themselves to learn more about our history, our military history, in particular, the two World Wars and the Korea War and just recently the Afghanistan War. Appreciate our troops right now that our government has committed into Mali.”

Crowshaw first joined the navy in 1953 at the age of 18 but was too late to be deployed to Korea. After five years he transferred to the air force, and spent 1963 to 1967 serving under NATO in France. As a radar technician, he was later moved to Grande Prairie to work at the base on the top of Saskatoon Mountain and retired two years later to go into business.

Since then, the veteran has dedicated himself to building and maintaining the Army & Navy Air Force Veterans Club in the city. He calls the work gratifying but notes it’s become more difficult due to declining membership.

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“One of our goals at the ANAVETS is to teach the public, to expose veterans to the public and what we’re all about. It’s an uphill battle because today people’s way of living has changed over the years,” he says, pointing to parents being more busy with their children and not congregating at places like the ANAVETS Hall and the Royal Canadian Legion.

On top of November 11th, Crowshaw hopes to see more people at the hall throughout the year, especially young people. He stresses the importance of hearing stories of war-time, as well as current operations like the Mali peacekeeping mission.

“The library is a good source of the actual history of the armed forces. Around Remembrance Day, there’s different stories that come out in publications. All I can say is, pay attention.”

The ANAVETS held its annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in Jubilee Park Sunday morning, while the Legion held a ceremony inside Revolution Place. Other ceremonies were held in communities around the Peace country.

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