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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex started their Commonwealth Day celebrations at Canada House for an event showcasing the diverse community of young Canadians living in London and around the UK on 11 March 2019.
#fashion The Duke and Duchess of Sussex started their Commonwealth Day celebrations at Canada House for an event showcasing the diverse community of young Canadians living in London and around the UK on 11 March 2019.
London Fashion Week. 5-and-a-half days of fabulousness twice a year (the extra half day is because I always go to #curatedcanadiancollections@canadahouseofficial on Thursday evening). I would have taken a better photo but there’s no full length mirror in my apartment. Coat is from @mikiosakabe@laforet_h. I have a super cute skirt on as well, but y’all just need to take my word for it.
“I want to say goodbye to my buddies. One last time.” These were Frank Krepps’ words when I asked why he wanted to go back to France. Frank had never been back to Europe since he was a soldier in the Second World War.
The 75th Anniversary of D-Day was surrounded by a week long trip to France for any remaining Canadian veterans who served in the Battle of Normandy. There were 37 Canadian veterans in the official delegation. From these veterans I’d interviewed 22 previously. I was honoured to be allowed to attend some of these events and meet some more of these heroes. A huge thank you to @veteransaffairscanada and the @junobeachcentre for allowing me to attend these events as media.
It’s hard to put into words the week. There’s an energy in the air. French women grab onto these men’s hands as they pass by. School children give them presents. Other guests hold onto faded photographs of their loved ones, attending the event to represent those who can’t. The cemeteries are the most difficult (at least for me). I walk down the rows of buried young men with Frank until we find somebody from his regiment. Frank lays a poppy on his tombstone and gives him a final salute.
Hanging over these events is something that nobody says outright but Frank: “one last time.” It’s unlikely that these veterans will be able to make the pilgrimage to the beaches again. For Frank this will be his second and his last.
I interviewed Frank in June 2018 and he’s somebody who I talk to on the phone on a regular basis. Right after this photo was taken I gave Frank a big hug because I was leaving. There was roughly 10 people waiting to take photos of Frank but instead they got a shot of my back hugging him for about 2 minutes in complete silence. Sometimes there’s no words. When Frank told me he was going to be saying goodbye to his buddies, I didn’t realize I’d be saying goodbye too.
I’ll never forget being in France with 37 Canadian heroes. I’m looking forward to introducing some of them to you in my documentary “Last Ones Standing,” which will be released next year. I hope to hand deliver Frank his personal copy at his home in Red Deer. In the meantime I will be posting more photos