Philippe Sutter: Tribute to a hero—remembering George Chow

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      By Philippe Sutter

      As many people in British Columbia and elsewhere, I was very saddened to hear about World War II Veteran George Chow’s passing away on November 6, at the age of 99.

      Mr. Chow was a true hero, a beacon of our common fight for peace, security, and democracy.

      During World War II, his contribution to the liberation of my country, France, and Europe in 1944 was tremendous. France recognized his sacrifices by bestowing upon him the Légion d’Honneur, our highest distinction.

      Since 2017, we were grateful to count on his presence at several events strengthening this very special bond between France and Canada and allowing to preserve the memory of all of those who fought to make possible a world free of tyranny and oppression. Lucky those who witnessed his outstanding commitment, always with kindness and key messages, to our common work of remembrance and the necessary transmission to the youth.

      A true friendship

      It was always an honor to have him with us at our National Day, on July 14, with some of his comrades, to perpetuate our deepest conviction in freedom, equality and brotherhood: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”.

      Last year, as in 2014, he made the trip to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy at Juno Beach with the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the premier of British Columbia, John Horgan. I will never forget our very emotional gathering in Victoria thanks to the lieutenant-governor of B.C., Janet Austin, prior to this event.

      He also made the trip for the construction of the Frederic Lee Walkway at the Hill 70 Memorial in the nearby city of Lens, paying tribute to this 22 year-old soldier from Kamloops, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War.

      Each year he participated in the Vimy Day in Vancouver serving as an example for so many cadets and an inspiration for the general public at large. 

      George Chow will always be in our minds and hearts as we commemorate Remembrance Day. 

      For everything he did for us, we say Merci. For everything we owe to him, we will never forget Mr. George Chow. 

      Building on his legacy, we will continue to build a better world based on our common values, respect and multilateralism.