Remembrance Day brings back memories of those lost

Two people who have adopted Nelson as their home shared their stories with us during the annual ceremony.

A sea cadet stands guard at the cenotaph during Friday's Remembrance Day ceremony.

Raab Smith wept during the silence.

The 46-year-old sat in front of the cenotaph Friday during the annual Remembrance Day ceremony. Smith, who served with the United States Navy during the first Gulf War, used the moment to remember the people he went to war with during his eight months overseas.

“I lost a lot of friends,” he said.

He clenched his fist as planes flew overhead in formation. “My shipmates need me,” said Smith. “I have to be here for them because they would be here for me.”

Smith wasn’t the only immigrant to Nelson on hand to remember the fallen.

Standing nearby, 94-year-old Hendrika Cherenko laid a wreath for the Ladies Auxiliary with the Eagles Lodge. Cherenko was born in Holland and met her husband John during the Second World War. John was there with a Canadian artillery division, and when the fighting ended the pair moved to Nelson in February 1947 with the first of their three children.

John’s family lived in Taghum, and it took time for Hendrika to adjust to life in the Kootenays.

“It was a culture shock to say the least on several fronts,” she said.” [John] wrote about the Queen City of Nelson. Well, I’ve come to love it but it was hardly a Queen City to me [having] grown up in a real city. And also entry into a Doukhobor family. In ’47, in those years, [Doukhobors] were very separate. I wasn’t welcome, let’s put it that way.”

Cherenko — who joked the army lost an extra ‘n’ from her name when she married John — can’t remember how long she’s been a part of the ceremony. John died nearly 22 years ago, and she makes a point of returning to City Hall every Remembrance Day in his memory. “For him, and for the Eagles as well,” she said. “Mostly for him though.”

Nelson has become home for Smith as well. It was the movie Roxanne that brought him here in 2014.

“I saw it in 1987 when I was 17 years old,” he said. “Fell in love with this place. With a couple exceptions, it looks exactly the same. This place is cool. This is home.”

Smith suffered four aneurysms in his lower spinal cord during the war, which has left him dependent on a cane to walk. The injury has also become terminal, but he wasn’t dwelling on that Friday. Instead, Smith was content to remember his friends, and to do it in his adopted home.

“This is a good place to die,” he said. “I’ve lived a good life.”

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man pleads guilty in Baker Street death

Miles Halverson is guilty of manslaughter in the death of Matt Reeder

Nelson to hold open house on Railtown development

City will present plans and ask for input on specific areas of Railtown

Rossland chocolatier plans move to cannabis edibles

Council approves zoning change to accomodate processing facility

Nelson climate change strike set for Sept. 20

The strike marks the start of a week of related events

October is Plastic Free Month in Nelson

City will examine its own plastic use and encourage public to do the same

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read