When I was young, and my grandfather was of a certain age, he began to talk to me about what life had been like in the trenches in the First World War. It would just be him and me talking, away from the ears of the family, with his eyes and voice conveying as much as the stories themselves.
That was the experience I wanted to recreate when I founded the Testaments of Honour project in 1998. This non-profit project's purpose is to record, on digital video, the personal histories of Canadian veterans - for our children, for
students, our families, and the veterans themselves.
This is my way of ensuring that the thread of experience is nurtured and kept alive - through the veterans telling their own stories to me and to the camera. These hundreds of interviews on digital video will ensure that the remarkable individuals who forged history in those formative years will always be able to
say to us, in their own words, "This Happened to Me."
My grandfather, Major E.T. Heathcote, MM ED, in 1917 taken in London during his
first leave from France.