As part of Operation Husky 2013, a group of Canadians walked this route to honour the memory of the nation's soldiers who fought in Sicily seventy years earlier and whose sacrifice has been largely forgotten. Under a searing sun, with Mount Etna's soaring heights always in the distance, a small contingent of marchers trekked each day along winding country roads for between 15 and 35 kilometres to reach the outskirts of a small town or village. Here they were joined by a pipe band, which led them to the skirl of bagpipes in a parade into the community's heart to be met by hundreds of cheering and applauding Sicilians. Before each community's war memorial a service of remembrance for both the Canadian and Sicilian war dead followed. Each day also brought the marchers closer to their final destination--Agira Canadian War Cemetery where 490 of the 562 Canadian soldiers who fell during the course of Operation Husky in 1943 are buried. On July 30--after twenty gruelling days--the marchers were joined here by almost a thousand Canadians and Italians. All joined to conduct a profoundly emotional ceremony of remembrance that ended with one person standing before each headstone and answering the roll call on that soldier's behalf. Mark Zuehlke, author of the award-winning Canadian Battle Series, was one of the Operation Husky 2013 marchers. He uses this arduous and poignant task as a focal point for a contemplative look at the culture of remembrance and the experience of war.Author:
Douglas & McIntyrePublished:
9.30h x 6.30w x 0.90dISBN:
About the Author
Mark Zuehlke is the author of the critically acclaimed Canadian Battle Series and many other books. Having worked as a journalist, been educated as a historian, and written award-winning fiction, he draws on these varied experiences and skills to bring history to life for a general audience. He lives in Victoria.