St. Jacobs woman pens song about neighbour: a Second World War veteran

St. Jacobs resident Carolyn Parks was inspired to write a song about a Second World War veteran, Ed Strauss, who happens to be a neighbour.

Ed Strauss told Parks he was 19 years old and flew a Halifax Bomber

A St. Jacobs woman was inspired to write a song about he neighbour, Ed Strauss, who flew a Halifax Bomber during the Second World War. (Submitted)

After a conversation with her neighbour, Second World War veteran Ed Strauss, Carolyn Parks picked up a guitar and started to write down the song she was inspired to compose.

Parks told CBC News she often talked with the 96-year-old while she walked her dog every day. During one of their chats in the summer, Strauss began to talk about his experience in the war. 

Strauss told Parks he had been 19 years old and flew a Halifax bomber, often shaking his head saying 'it was awful'.

"As I walked away, it just stayed with me that week and it touched me, so I found my self sitting there and this chorus popped out: '12 men dead', based on what he said to me," she said.  

The rest of the song came together after she spoke with Strauss a week later. He became emotional when she told him she was writing a song about him.

"The thing that really got me was when he started to cry. When he said, 'Oh no it'll just come back to me,'" she said. 

"As I was walking away, I was much more affected and I was crying on my way home. I sat down on the table, picked up the guitar and the rest of the song wrote itself."

Think, absorb, feel

She adds, her song is also a reflection of how she hopes to mark Remembrance Day. 

"If I take the time to think, and absorb and feel, then I in a sense am remembering in the best way I can," she said. 

Parks will be performing her song 12 Men Dead on Saturday during the annual Remembrance Day banquet in Waterloo, where Strauss and his family will be present.


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