Veterans Voices of Canada
HELP US KEEP CANADA’S RICH MILITARY HISTORY ALIVE!!! WE BRING THEIR STORIES TO YOU!
I’ve always been a history buff, largely due to the influence of my mom talking about her Great Uncle who was was killed in France, and my dad talking about his 3 brothers and sister who served overseas during the Second World War.
There, the fire was ignited.
I began my television career in 1994 as a cameraman. I felt it was time to speak to my Uncle, Perley Cameron about his overseas experience. For the first time ever, he was ready to tell his story. Sadly, this never was to be. He passed away before I had the chance.
One of the last things he said to me was,
“Allan, you are doing a good thing, keep doing this. Let youth of today know the sacrifices our Veterans made.”
Those words will forever drive me forward.
In 2005, I was ready. I left news and went full speed ahead and the Memories Recovered Project was born. On June 24, 2011, we re-branded to Veterans Voices of Canada and became a registered non-profit. I’ve been travelling coast to coast and have documented the stories of over 1,000 Veterans. Many more wait to be interviewed.
My mission? To document our Canadian military Veterans on camera for history and education, to be donated to schools, museums and libraries.
We strive to educate Canadians on our rich military history through the eyes of the people who were there! We travel across Canada to document & pay tribute to Canadian military veterans on- camera. These national treasure archives are then donated to schools, museums & libraries across Canada. Copies are donated to the respective veteran’s family.
Does Veterans Voices of Canada help our Veterans?
The best way for me to answer that is to show everyone words from a card I received several years ago from the friend of a Veteran who has never really spoken about his D-Day to VE Day experiences with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. These words mean much to me;
“Dear Allan,I can’t believe Vic’s interview was Aug. 29th. I apologize for being so late getting back to you. Wanted you to know how pleased Victor was when it was over. His words to me over lunch was, “Now I don’t have to keep remembering, it will be recorded.” God bless him, he talks less and less now to those who have heard it so many times… that is good!“…again, I can only thank you for your professional caring way you spoke to Victor, put him at ease and helped him remember. You know it is difﬁcult for the men to remember these times. Hopefully his grandchildren will appreciate his efforts.”
I only wanted to make the point that not only is Veterans Voice of Canada doing important work in historical documentation of our Veterans, but we are helping people who have gone through so much by allowing them to talk, to get it out in the open and then,if they wish… forget about it. As Vic put it, “I can forget about it… it has been recorded.”
Something that you didn’t see in the writing on the card but I was told through a phone call, was that Vic also had the best sleep in decades that night after the interview. This is but one of many cards, emails and phone calls I receive on a regular basis.
That all said,if putting a Veteran’s mind at rest by sitting down with them and allowing them to talk is the least of what Veterans Voices of Canada is accomplishing, then I am one happy man. If that is the case, then I feel we have accomplished something very important. We are making a difference!