Harold Hague is one of Regina’s last-surviving veterans of D-Day, and each year on Remembrance Day, he thinks of his friends.
“I am a very lucky person. I appreciate being here. I really do because a lot of my friends and my buddies and my mates didn’t make it. They’re not here, they’re in a grave over there,” he said.
When he sees hundreds of people attending Remembrance Day services in the city, he knows that people do remember and appreciate those who died fighting for freedom.
“I want people to remember the sacrifice they made,” Hague said. “Look at the freedom we have in this country and you know it doesn’t come free.”
Hague served in the navy and still recalls the battle of the Atlantic, but his vivid memories are of Omaha Beach in Normandy.
“The D-Day operation was something else, no one can describe that,” he said.
“We went into Omaha Beach. It was called bloody Omaha because it was a terrible, terrible, terrible slaughter.”
Seventy years later, the events of that day are still etched in his memory.
“You do, you think back and sometimes, they’re not good thoughts,” Hague explained. “Sometimes you wake up and it’s there, the sight of the blood and the carnage that was there.”
On Nov. 11, the memories of his friends come flooding back.
“Naturally you think back about some of the buddies that you served with you know, because you knew them,” he said.
When he sees the faces of a younger generation of war veterans from Afghanistan, Hague knows many of them are going through the same thing his fellow soldiers did. Only in those days, he says they didn’t have a name for PTSD.
Above all else, Hague wants to impress upon the young people to be grateful for what they have. He feels schools are doing a good job of teaching children about the war and the importance of Remembrance Day.