Senator Consiglio Di Nino. (JOHN MAJOR/QMI AGENCY)
TORONTO — Every Remembrance Day, the world pauses to remember the fallen of all wars. Rightly so.
It does pose the question: What about the other 364 days of the year?
Surely those who served — and, too often, died — in the name of freedom deserve recognition every day of the year.
Like the 1.1 million men and women of Canada's Armed Forces who fought with uncommon valour in the Second World War.
They could be found on battlefields as far apart as Hong Kong and Dieppe, in the skies over Europe and sailing into harm's way with the Royal Canadian Navy across the North Atlantic.
More than 45,000 Canadians made the supreme sacrifice in that conflict and their efforts were no more keenly felt than among the 93,000 Canadians in the Italian campaign 1943-45.
Canada's fight started with the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and ended in February 1945 when the 1st Canadian Division was redeployed from Italy to the Western Front to assist with the advance across Western Europe to Germany.
This was Canada's first major European ground participation in the Second World War and would cost 25,264 casualties, 5,900 of them fatal, over its bloody course.
At its peak over 72,000 Canadians were in Italy alongside British, American, Polish, New Zealand, French, Greek and South African troops — to name a few of our Allied combatants.
One man who wants to look beyond these raw figures is retired Canadian Sen. Consiglio Di Nino.
He is part of an innovative project called Peace Through Valour that seeks a permanent memorial in Canada to the fallen in Italy, creating a place to remember for those who cannot travel to Europe and the battlefield graveyards there.