Monday, November 07, 2011

Remembrance Day a Time to Honour Both the Memory of Our Brave Soldiers and the Innocent Civilians Who Perished

Vancouver, B.C For most Canadians, November 11th is a day where we pay tribute to the sacrifices of soldiers who died in the line of duty. Author Helen Waldstein Wilkes feels that the day should also serve as a time to remember civilians who died in war.

Her experience writing Letters from the Lost: A Memoir of Discovery helped to remind her of the emotional impact that war has both on the soldiers involved and on the civilian populations caught in the middle. Using her own family’s letters that evoke  their experiences at home and abroad during the Second World War, Wilkes created an account that has been heavily praised for its unique ability to awaken  empathy in readers.

“I hold the utmost respect for those soldiers who risked and too often sacrificed their life to protect civilian populations. That is why I feel it’s important that we also take time to reflect on those children, those families, those ordinary humans who lost their life in war,” says Wilkes whose parents fled Nazi-occupied Prague. “Civilian populations inevitably get caught in the crossfire. The toll it takes is unimaginable.”

And while most of the memorials that will be visited this Remembrance honour those Canadians lost in the earlier part of twentieth century, Wilkes reminds us that losses continue to this day, “In the last decade we’ve seen countless regions torn apart by war and military conflicts. We now live in an increasingly globalized world, so when there is conflict in one part of the world we need to remember that those who are suffering are members of our larger family. Our empathy must extend to all who have suffered loss as a result of global and civil conflicts.”

Letters from the Lost recently won the prestigious Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. It was also won   the 2011 Alberta Reader’s Choice Award. More information about Helen and the book can be found at


To book an interview contact:
Rachel Sentes, Publicist

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