By: Jim Shilliday
For decades, my family lived a kind of whodunit puzzle, wondering what happened to my brother, Bob, killed one awful night on a bombing run over Germany in 1945. He had become one of the Unknown, a perpetual 19-year-old ghost -- until this year.
It's so long ago, the Second World War, and the ache is gone. But there are memories. Memories are ghosts, and they haunt. Ghosts are sometimes described as solitary essences that hover about people with whom they were associated in life. I know what that means.
We grew to accept Bob's death, more or less, as a fact of life. We could talk casually about him -- then, an unexpected emotion, a choke in the voice, usually around Remembrance Day.
Families all across Canada lived with ghosts for decades after the brutality of the Second World War. All of Canada, in fact, was one big family during almost six years of the most widespread, most concentrated, most furious and most deadly of wars ever, many grieving and unable to forget (those ghosts again)...
My Brother's Ghost: The Life and Times of a Missing Airman - Jim Shilliday
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