It’s me, Indy—Tracy’s fur baby.
Today is a very important day. It’s my 6th birthday. Hahowl!
My mum reminded me it’s Remembrance Day too.
My mum patted the sofa. I jumped up.
Pages rustled in the legacy book she wrote about our family.
My ears stood at attention.
When the pages stopped turning, I snuggled under my blanket, eager to hear more about my maternal great-grandfather—a war hero.
I hope you’ll follow along too. Mum’s story is not very long.
A Man of Courage
Indy, even though I never met my grandfather whenever I hear stories about his life he comes alive in my heart.
Did you know it’s been ninety-eight years since my grandfather fought in the Finnish Civil War of 1918?
Here’s my grandfather’s army photo. He was only nineteen-years-old in this photo.
My grandfather – Eero Kohtala – 1918
My grandmother (Nana) wrote a note on the back of the photo. It says, “Vapaus Larar. V. 1918.” Translation, “The Freedom of Larar. Victory. 1918”.
My grandfather was presented with a liberation commemorative medal along with a certificate from the commander-in-chief, Kustaa Mannerheim, who later became the 6th President of Finland?
Open your eyes, Indy. I’m almost finished.
The certificate says,
“On behalf of the Finnish government and the joint armed forces, I, Kustaa Mannerheim, commander-in-chief, present this liberation commemorative medal to Eero Kohtala in recognition of his participation and dedication in the liberation of his homeland.
May this medal always remind the participants of the liberation war of their accomplishments. Be it always proof to the participants and later generations how the Finnish nation rose as a united front to defend their nation and freedom.
Be it a reminder of the efforts of the white army’s strong defense of Tampere and Viipuri, of their efforts and suffering and hardships they endured to push the enemy back with pride in memory of the enormous tasks undertaken and the right to do so as set out in this declaration.”
Indy, stop yawning. I’ve finished my story.
Folks, thanks for reading about my great-grandfather, Eero Kohtala.
Our family remembers his sacrifice.
We also remember the greatest sacrifice, Jesus Christ, who gave up his life to save us all.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)
At 11:11 a.m., Mum and I will also remember the men, women, and the service dogs who sacrificed their lives for us.
The cross and poppy photo are courtesy of Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use.