On Remembrance Day Madeline Dent cries.
She sheds tears for relatives.
She cries in honour of the veterans who fought for her freedom.
“It’s a day I cry a lot,” said Madeline, tearing up just at the thought. “It’s a time to reflect back on the freedom we have, and for those who died fighting for it.”
Monday marks the first time the new Langford resident will attend the Nov. 11 ceremonies at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
“I hope there are veterans sharing their stories. If they do that, I will listen to every last word,” she said.
Her family war tale starts at the age of nine.
“My mother’s brother died in World War II two hours before armistice was declared,” she explained.
Prior to his death, Romeo Ciccone sent gifts to Madeline and her siblings and letters to his sister, their mother.
“He did write back and forth and he was very thoughtful,” Madeline said.
Ciccone was 27 when he died on May 4, 1945. He enlisted in the army in February 1942 and served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada Unit. He was buried in the Holten Canadian War Cemetery in Germany.
More than a decade later, Madeline met her husband, Norman Dent in 1955 while working at the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Vancouver. She answered phones and booked reservations and Norman was a red cap, helping passengers with their luggage.
Her late husband Norman, his four siblings and both his parents were all involved in military and serving their country.
From 1947 to 1948 Norman was stationed in Esquimalt and travelled to Europe working in England and Scotland.
“He wanted to be a pilot but they assigned him to be a radio technician,” Madeline said.
Norman was following in his father’s footsteps; Walter Dent, served in both the First and Second World Wars.
When Walter joined the military he forged his birth certificate because legally he was too young to join.
Years later Norman’s fraternal twin brother, Hartley Dent then 15, also lied about his age to join the forces.
Even after the war some Dents endured injuries that never healed serving as a reminder of the time they served.
“Ronald (Dent) had back pain so bad after, he sometimes couldn’t even drive a car,” Madeline said.
Madeline, who volunteers as a patient visitor at Victoria General Hospital and at the Priory, leading old-fashioned sing-a-longs, will be among those taking a moment at the cenotaph Monday.
It’s likely she’ll cry.