I believe innocence is the first victim of war.

When soldiers crossed the Atlantic, they carried innocence with them. It did not make the return voyage. More than 68,000 Canadians died from wounds suffered in combat or from disease. Their lives were cut short, often in the flower of their youth.

Jean Brillant was one of two French-Canadian combatants in the First World War to be awarded the highest medal for valour. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for showing “absolute fearlessness” – for an act of gallantry that cost him his life.

– Viveka Melki


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Optical Crystal

“The faceless unknown soldier, screams through the shattered glass, his innocence lost forever.”
– Mark Raynes Roberts

Olfactory memory

“On the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, sheets wave in the wind. The smell of fresh laundry greets the scent of freshly cut grass.”
– Alexandra Bachand

Jean Brillant (1890-1918)

“Jean Brillant’s extraordinary bravery had earned him the highest medal for valour offered to soldiers fighting under the British Crown – it had also cost him his life. Brillant had died just four months earlier.”
– Alexander Reford

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Cantlie’s Letter