When I got outside, attacking planes were coming from every which direction dropping incendiaries as well as anti-personnel bombs that sent out a swath of fragments when they hit the ground. Fires lit up the target. Our trucks were hit and burning. Some of our gunners had been hit and others had run to take their places. Even in the confusion I was proud of the way my men were standing up. The night was full of gunfire, explosions, shouts, and screams.
- Conn Smythe's observations after his Battery Unit was attacked in Caen on July 25, 1944.
Long after the likes of Conn Smythe had taken a stand and signed up to participate in World War Two, the hockey world continues to remember the sacrifices they made.
Recently, the Toronto-NHL Oldtimers made their annual trip to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to visit those living in the Veterans Wing. For the players, this is one jaunt they gladly make knowing the good feeling they get from meeting everyone at Sunnybrook. After having their lunch the Veterans gathered to listen to several short speeches, then the fun part of the activities took place. The players descended from the stage and took part in a meet and greet session. As each player worked the room one could see the joy they brought to those who fought for our Country.
|Al Shaw, who organized the visit, gives his opening remarks.|
|Ron Hurst delights the gathering crowd with his storytelling.|
|Gary England seated between Johnny Bower and Dick Duff. Throughout the year, Gary secured autographs on a Stanley Cup photo for the Veterans.|
|Johnny Bower making the presentation to one of the Veterans.|
|Johnny Bower with Hockey Night in Canada pioneer Murray Westgate.|
Never lost during the visit was the bravery and courage the Veterans showed to make this world a greater and safer place for future generations. The ultimate sacrifice being made by those who never returned and lost their lives fighting for our freedom.