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

Jordyn Huitema and Canadian nationals second at 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship

The Chilliwack teenager was among the tournament’s scoring leaders with four goals.

Chilliwack vacant homeowners could be hit with speculation tax

Municipality included although Cultus Lake and Chilliwack River Valley excluded

Chilliwack soccer stars help Coastal FC win national title

The team beat Ontario’s Burlington Bayhawks in the U-17 Cup final.

Drugs and cash seized by Chilliwack RCMP

One man was arrested and drugs were seized in the early hours of Oct. 12, police said

Heavy turnout at advance poll in Chilliwack

Some voters waited as long as two hours

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Man shot to death while using Lower Mainland ATM

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

Most Read