BookBug's World…

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Bumped into Past…

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A while ago, while talking to family friend, she told me a story about the Polish volunteer soldiers that came from USA and Canada to Niagara on the Lake’s training camp (or whatever that prep place was called) to go and fight “For our freedom and yours” – in the WWI. Polish soldiers were very specific. If you looked into the history – before WWI, for over 100 years there was no Poland. No country for Poles, as their beloved homeland was taken away from them by 3 powers – Russia, Prussia(nowadays Germany) and Austria. So they saw WWI as a big chance to regain their land…

And so these soldiers, some who left their country forced by political powers, some kicked out of it for their beliefs – came there ready to be sent to war. Unfortunately – there was and outburst of influenza at that time, which robbed 41 soldiers of their chance to fight for that freedom they missed so much. So that friend told me – “and you know, there is a little cemetery in Niagara on the Lake, commemorating those soldiers. That time, few years ago I only took the story in, not registering much, thinking – I won’t go there, I won’t look for it, who knows where it really is…

Years passed, and as I wrote a few days ago – we took a trip to Niagara Falls. Then my husband suggested, as it is far from summer 😉 (though last Sunday was exceptionally beautiful) – that we’d see The Falls and then took a scenic route along Niagara River to Niagara on the Lake. And so we did. The above mentioned story hidden, deeply sleeping in my brain, not even a tiny lightbulb, not a ring anywhere 😉

As we went to Niagara on the Lake, we discovered that lots of people thought the weather was exceptionally beautiful. I had a map of all the free parking and piloted my husband around the streets. “There is supposed to be free parking along this road, till the next intersection” I said. Yup, free usually means taken 😉 But as we drove slowly, we noticed one spot! With no hesitation we took that spot, and not a minute later my daughter noticed: “Mama look, there is Polish Eagle on this gate!” I looked in the direction she was pointing – and sure enough. This was the tiny cemetery, with graves of 25 of the 41 soldiers taken by influenza in 1917…img_7591img_7588img_7589img_7593


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