"Never talked about it."
That's what most people say when they're asked if the veteran in
the family ever shared wartime experiences. Describing combat,
imprisonment or lost comrades from the World Wars, the Korea War,
or even Afghanistan is reserved for Remembrance Day or the Legion
lounge. Nobody was ever supposed to see them get emotional, show
their vulnerability. Nobody was ever to know the hell of their
About 25 years ago, Ted Barris began breaking through the
silence. Because of his unique interviewing skills, he found
that veterans would talk to him, set the record straight and put a
face on the service and sacrifice of men and women in uniform. As a
result of his work on 15 previous books, Barris has earned a
reputation of trust among Canada's veterans. Indeed, over the
years, nearly 3,000 of them have shared their memories, all
offering original material for his books.
Among other revelations in Breaking the Silence,
veterans of the Great War reflect on an extraordinary first
Armistice in 1918; decorated Second World War fighter pilots talk
about their thirst for blood in the sky; Canadian POWs explain
how they survived Chinese attempts to brainwash them during the
Korean War; and soldiers with the Afghanistan mission talk about
the horrors of the "friendly fire" incident near Kandahar.
Breaking the Silence is a ground-breaking book that
goes to the heart of veterans' war-time experiences.