Oral histories bring WWII to life in Dorval
With Remembrance Day a few weeks away, a new exhibit at the Dorval museum is offering a look at life during the second World War.
"Survival and Resilience" features the oral histories of veterans from Dorval, an idea sparked by the son of a veteran.
Rick Cartmel, whose father went to war, got the idea for the exhibit after visiting the Netherlands earlier this year for the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
"These guys went away for five years, away from their home, their friends and family, not knowing if they were even going to come back," said Cartmel.
His father, Charles, was part of the effort to liberate the Netherlands from Nazi occupiers.
"After 11 days in Holland he was shot crossing the Maas river. They blew a rather large hole in his leg," said Cartmel.
That was in November of 1944 and Charles Cartmel spent the next six months in hospital.
His army cot is part of the exhibit, and also a symbol of how much his life changed.
"The moment he got shot, he was not writing to my mom, 'cause he figures why keep her hopes up," said Cartmel. "Then the letters started to pour in because he says 'I'm not going to be in war anymore and I'll be coming home so, I'm going to come home and marry you.'"
Personal stories such as that are what make the Dorval exhibit special.
"We asked different people, the Dorval historical society had some things, I had some objects myself, and then we went to different museums to top it off," said Cartmel.
Marie-Eve Leprohon of the Dorval Library helped curate the exhibit.
"Everybody knows about the second World War but you know, to put faces on what happened during the second World War, it's different, it's something. It's a lot more touching," said Leprohon.
The exhibit continues through November 22nd at the Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage.