Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Little Man

"There is in this country a curious fellow, with baggy knees, who has the faculty of meeting you everywhere you turn. He never has his name in the papers except for the birth and death notices, he is seldom more than a jump ahead of the sheriff, he has done nothing notable. And yet he is the greatest man in the nation. This is your neighbor, your corner grocer, your friend when you need one. The chances are he drove to town for a doctor when you were born; he'll be one of your pall-bearers when you die. As long as you live you will not be separated from him.


I give you the most plotted against, the most known and the least understood character in the land, the mighty atom who, in his millions and in his mercy, holds human society together."


This is a quote from the book Little Man (published 1942), written by G. Herbert Sallans. The novel won the Ryeron Press Award for best Canadian novel (prize $500). The book dealt with the experiences of George Battle, the representative of the 'little man' or 'everyman,' in the time following the First World War and into the Second World War.


The author, G. Herbert Sallans, served in Lethbridge's original 39th Field Battery in the First World War, and was among the first draft of reinforcements to serve with the unit in France.


Sallans states (in the voice of George Battle, the protagonist) that it is the 'little man' who is the only one who can stand up and win the war.


"For all the known things of his life were massed now to help him in that distant, uncharted frontier. There stood his Little Man, transfigured, supreme and sublime, who will win the war -- the only man strong enough to win it."


I have not yet been able to track down a copy of the book (though I would love to) but even this little bit of information that I was able to find reminds me yet again of our incredible debt owed to people on Remembrance Day (and throughout the year).


Thank you to all of the Veterans for their sevice to us and our country.


Thanks for their families who carried on throughout the war.

Thank you to the coal miners and farmers, many of whom wished to serve but often weren't permitted to because they were deemed indispensable labour.


Thank you to the nurses who served.


Thank you to all who sacrificed, worked and fought for us in so many ways.


And an eternal thank you to those who didn't make it back home.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Belinda! May there always be folks to around to remind future generations of the brave soldiers and what they sacrificed long after the last of the soldiers who lived it have passed on.

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