Watch above: A Saskatoon veteran is remembered through a family scrapbook and a city street named in his memory.
SASKATOON – Merv Morrison is the son of Cecil Morrison, who served in both world wars.
While standing on Morrison Court in Saskatoon’s Arbor Creek neighbourhood Tuesday, Morrison flipped through a family scrapbook.
It contains an official document from the City of Saskatoon, informing Merv the street would be named Morrison Court as an acknowledgement of his father’s contributions to the wars.
The scrapbook contains many other personal war articles including photographs and newspaper clippings which document the pilot’s journey.
Cecil became known as an ‘air ace’ after shooting down three planes and sinking a freighter.
To the Morrison family, the scrapbook is a priceless collectable.
“I know his plane had 42 holes in it,” Morrison said, recalling one particular battle his father spoke of.
“He’d zip into the clouds and zip out of the clouds to get better positioning and those 42 holes came from one battle.”
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Efforts are being made to preserve the names of soldiers on plaques and monuments throughout the country but the strongest link to the past can often be found in the homes of veterans and their descendants in the form of a scrapbook.
“People tend to think history is something that happened to someone else a long time ago,” said archivist Jeff O’Brien.
“Like here I am today living my life, then there’s this big black empty space and way back there, there’s all these dead guys and that’s history and it doesn’t matter to me cause it’s not connected but the truth is exactly the opposite.”
It gives meaning to the present and outlines guidelines for the future, according to O’Brien.
Along with the Saskatoon street, there’s a peninsula in northern Saskatchewan named Morrison Peninsula, after the notable veteran. While both are significant to the family, neither tells the story the way their old raggedy scrapbook does.
It takes Morrison to a place of reflection.
“He lived through it, yeah,” he said speaking proudly of his father.
Veterans Affairs Canada estimates there are roughly 88,000 living Second World War veterans, 3,000 fewer than the last count in 2013. The last veteran from the First World War died in 2010.
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