Morden resident Harvey Kinsman has returned home from his trip overseas to the Juno Beach Centre in France.
The reason for this trip was to see the burial site of his uncle, also named Harvey Kinsman, who was killed in action during WWII in 1944 and to take in the new exhibit at the Juno Beach Centre, which features his uncle.
"It's humbling and emotional, but it also makes you very proud," said Kinsman. "It makes you proud as a family member, but also that the basis of this story is thePembina Valley region."
After his grandmother's passing, he was given a number of artifacts or exhibits which were about his uncle. Kinsman had taken a similar trip five years ago and was able to donate these items to the Juno Beach Centre.
Kinsman said the Centre wanted to learn more about their family history for the purpose of this temporary exhibit.
He added this exhibit, called "From Vimy to Juno: Remembering Canadians in France," would feature four different families of which his uncle would be included.
The exhibition is embedded with a timeline that retraces the story of Canada’s involvement on French soil, from the conflicts to their commemoration. This chronological approach provides a clear presentation of motivations for enlistment, the grief experienced by families, and the development of a Canadian culture of commemoration throughout the 20th century.
During his trip roughly five years ago Kinsman was able to donate the telegram his Grandmother received, pictures of his uncle, pictures of his grave, maps of where he was buried, and a number of letters.
"Six days before he was killed he had written a letter to his parents of which they would've received after his death," said Kinsman.
Written on August 6th, 1944, the letter talked about comparing the farm fields in France and Canada.
Kinsman said they also completed a symbolic gesture by spreading soil from his families' graves in Manitoba on his uncle's in France. The family also did the same with soil from his uncle's grave on his families' resting place here in Canada.