Gordie Quan, a local veteran who served in World War II, shared his experiences with guests at the Chinese Canadian Memorial Day Museum.
Quan, who is Chinese-Canadian, spoke about some of the challenges he faced in his early years, when Chinese were not allowed to serve in the military and had limited rights at home.
While everyone is saying young people should go to war, Chinese Canadians are still barred from serving, he said.
However, when Central Europe needed aid, the Chinese were allowed to join, and he believed that one way to fight for the Chinese in Kanda was to fight for everyone.
“In ’43, it was in Central Europe and they needed help. So that’s why we were allowed to join, and that’s what I did. I said ‘Join’, see what we can do, and when we come back, we’ll do it for Chinese in Canada fight for their rights.”
Like many of his generation, at the age of 18—when most young people today go to college—he went to war.
Quan said the most important part of Memorial Day is acknowledging people who made the ultimate sacrifice and honoring them.
The Remembrance Day special exhibition is curated by the Chinatown Museums Association of Victoria and presented at the Canadian Museum of Chinese.
For those interested in visiting the museum, admission is available by donation. Open Thurs-Sun 11am-5pm.
For more information on current exhibits, visit Canadian Chinese Museum
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