Virtual Friends Forum Thursday September 21, 2023: “Operation Husky 2013: An Act of Extreme Remembrance”
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Mark Zuehlke is an award-winning author and generally considered to be one of Canada’s foremost popular military historians.
Mark’s Canadian Battle Series is an exhaustive recounting of the campaigns fought by Canadian troops during the Second World War. In 2014, Mark was awarded the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media in recognition of his role in popularizing Canadian history.
The Friends are very pleased and honoured to have Mark present at this virtual forum.
Operation Husky 2013: An Act of Extreme Remembrance
In July 2013, during the intense heat of a Sicilian summer, a small group of Canadians embarked upon an act of Extreme Remembrance. For twenty gruelling days, they marched in the footsteps of the soldiers of 1st Canadian Infantry Division in 1943. Trekking between 15 and 35 kilometres each day, these Canadians paid homage to the memory of the Canadian soldiers who fought over this same ground as part of Operation HUSKY—the invasion of Sicily—seventy years earlier.
As the 2013 march advanced, the number of Canadians participating grew. The final act of remembrance was at the Agira Canadian War Cemetery on July 30 when almost a thousand Canadians and Italians came together to conduct a profoundly emotional ceremony. The ceremony ended with one participant standing before each headstone and answering the roll call on that soldier’s behalf. Mark Zuehlke, who was one of the marchers and a chronicler of Operation HUSKY 2013 in his memorable book, Through Blood and Sweat: A Remembrance Trek Across Sicily’s World War II Battlegrounds, takes us on a memorable return to this remarkable undertaking.