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Local World War II vets honoured in Halifax

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WATCH ABOVE: Parks Canada and The Royal Canadian Navy are honouring Canadians for their significant contributions during the Second World War. Jeremy Keefe reports – Sep 29, 2018

Local veterans are being recognized for their contributions during the Second World War in a joint Parks Canada-Royal Canadian Navy initiative.

“Hometown Heroes” has honoured more than 120 Canadians across the country since it was launched in 2015.

Now a number of individuals from the Maritimes have been given the hero treatment as well.

“It’s a dream, honest,” explained Norman Crewe, a Merchant Navy veteran of WWII.

READ MORE: Lansdowne Veterans Memorial unveils plaques to remember fallen soldiers

Crewe said in the years that followed the war there was no recognition for the sacrifices soldiers and sailors made.

Being able to celebrate the selfless contributions of the people he sailed alongside gives him a great sense of pride though he says it’s bittersweet.

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“To think, so many of my buddies are gone,” he said. “What I would give for them to be here with me today.”

Crewe said it was a long time before he was comfortable talking about his time in the war.

Watching young students perform a play about WWII changed his mind, and encouraged him to educate people of all ages on what war is really like.

“I’d say please, don’t talk about that, you don’t want to know anything about the war stories,” he explained. “I was doing the wrong thing.”

WATCH: Oshawa mourns after passing of Second World War vet, community pillar

Click to play video: 'Oshawa mourns after passing of Second World War vet, community pillar' Oshawa mourns after passing of Second World War vet, community pillar
Oshawa mourns after passing of Second World War vet, community pillar – Mar 1, 2018

In addition to Crewe being honoured the late Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolfe and the 4000 women who worked as shipbuilders were also recognized.

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The Royal Canadian Navy Commander, Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd was on hand for the event.

He says honouring those that fought for our freedom with initiatives like this shows the level of respect Canadians have for veterans.

“There is no greater sacrifice that these Canadians have made for their country than serving in conflict,” he explained. “So for us as a nation I think we need to take every opportunity to really pay tribute to their sacrifice.”

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