Langley resident Melvin Anderson has medals to show for his service for the Canadian Military involved in the Korean War in the early 1950s. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Korean War vet dedicates poppy torch to In Flanders Fields author

Melvin Anderson served in Korea in the early 1950s, and now visits local schools

Decorated Korean War veteran Melvin Anderson has a message for elementary school students.

“War is hell but it’s a necessary evil,” the Langley resident said. “We fought for the freedom enjoyed in Canada today.”

For the past five years, Anderson has visited local schools to talk about the sacrifices made by Canada’s military personnel, past and present.

This year, he brought along with him to Cloverdale schools a torch made out of poppies, as a tribute to the timeless poem, In Flanders Fields, penned in 1915 by Canadian physician, Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) John McCrae.

“It’s hard to read,” McCrae said, about In Flanders Fields.

“It breaks me up.”

Dedicated to McCrae, Anderson’s homemade poppy torch is inspired by the line in the poem, “To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high.”

“I thought, ‘how about I make a poppy torch?’” Anderson shared. “What’s more honourable than a poppy torch?”

He says he spent “three or four hours” putting the model together.”

Anderson said Remembrance Day ceremonies he has attended in the past have been very emotional for him.

Last November at the Cloverdale cenotaph, he laid down four wreaths including one for the Korean war, and another for the working horses killed during the First World War.

“There were over 60,000 horses killed in the First World War,” he said.

“That’s a lot of horses.”

Anderson joined the military in 1950 because, he said, “I always wanted to be a soldier.”

In Korea, he served as a Vickers Machine Gunner from 1952 to ’53. “They ordered us to fire in a certain position and we did. You just did what you’re told.”

“That was a terrible war,” Anderson said. “The military suffered a lot in Korea but in my estimation, the Korean people suffered even more than we did.”

 

Langley resident Melvin Anderson has medals to show for his service for the Canadian Military involved in the Korean War in the early 1950s. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Langley resident Melvin Anderson has medals to show for his service for the Canadian Military involved in the Korean War in the early 1950s. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Just Posted

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Chilliwack Chiefs visit Kent Elementary

Grade 6 students got a chance to visit with, and play hockey against, some local hockey celebrities

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

The projects are intended to increase tourism numbers and infrastructure in the resort village

Look at the latest: Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Don’t let the new day fool you, there’s still lots to do for Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Names keep adding to vaccine petition

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Most Read