68 Comments#CherishedBlogfest, Blogfests, Networking, Writing/Blogging

What’s the story behind your most prized possession(s)?

Welcome to the #CherishedBlogfest!

Cherished Blogfest, 2016

Hosted by:
Dan Antion / Sharukh Bamboat / Damyanti Biswas / Mary Giese /
Peter Nena / Cheryl Pennington / Kate Powell

Their directive:
“We invite you to talk to us about one of your cherished objects.
Tell us what it is, post a picture of it if you like, and tell us why you cherish it.”
[in under 500 words]


Korea, 1951, young Lieutenant's first command © My father was an officer in the Canadian army for 25 years, joining up fresh out of university. His first command as a young Lieutenant was on the front lines of the Korean War. Although not wounded physically, he returned home with malaria, white hair (at age 26; it had been dark brown when he left) and an addiction to alcohol. Never did he speak of his wartime experiences and refused to answer questions about them. He had horrible nightmares on a regular basis and I believe he suffered from PTSD, although it wasn’t recognized at the time. We weren’t all that close when I was younger, but developed more of a bond in later years. In 1987, at age 60, he was injured in a car accident and quit drinking. Following his death in 2011, I discovered a treasure trove of photos and other memorabilia from his military career, now proudly displayed in my home. Thank you for your service, Pops. I miss you!

Snippets of a military career:

Military photos collage ©600px

Memorabilia wall in the bedroom:

#CherishedBlogfest: Precious Memorabilia

Ceremonial horn, commemorating his second tour of duty in Germany, 1965-69:

#CherishedBlogfest: Precious Memorabilia

Commemorative pewter mugs from Toronto, Egypt and London (L-R)

#CherishedBlogfest: Precious Memorabilia


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(open from 12:01 a.m. GMT Jul. 29 to 11:59 p.m. PST Jul. 31)

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Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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68 thoughts on “THE #CherishedBlogfest: PRECIOUS MEMORABILIA #CBF16

  1. Sometimes our parents mention or we hear about them during our growing up but when they are gone and you find such treasured items, it brings them back to life more than just in your memories.

  2. Debbie that is a precious grouping. I’ve not had any relatives that went through wars and survived, but I can imagine the hell they come home with, and why they might want to protect their families from it. Thank you for sharing this story and the images with us, from Kate, one of the Co-Hosts of CBF16

  3. Wow! You must be so proud of this precious collection, Debbie! I know you miss your Dad, hugs! Superb choice for “Cherished” Those pewter mugs are gorgeous!

    1. I was thrilled to find these items, Vidya, especially the photos! Even though we lived over 4000 km apart, my father and I kept in contact regularly. He bought me my first laptop (Christmas 2008), insisting I “come into the 21st century”. Little did he realize the monster he created! 😀

  4. What a great way to honor your father. My father came home from WWII and Korea with problems as well. I wish I’d understood them better when I was a child. Brenda

  5. We don’t realize the impact war has on our youth until they are home and grappling with it. Glad you forged a bond with your dad and got to know him for who he was.

    1. Although we did get closer later in life, I don’t think I ever really “knew” my father. He wasn’t good at expressing things verbally. Brilliant writer, though! Thanks for dropping in, Pam.

    1. It was thrilling to find these treasures. I only wish my father would have shared some of his experiences, but they were obviously too painful. Thank you, Shailaja. 🙂

  6. How special that you have all your dad’s military memorabilia to look at and remember him. My dad has lots of that kind of thing, too, with awards and photos all around his TV room to remember his career as a military pilot. Great post as always, Debbie!

  7. War is a terrible thing… One doesn’t know how it can change a person. Beautiful memorabilia. My mom keeps my Dad’s collection with so much love and care, much more than my dad himself 🙂

  8. Debbie, I am sorry for your loss. And I am equally at peace knowing that you have all these memories from your father. They show his sacrifice for the country and sense of duty. What a heartfelt piece.

    1. Yes, I’m thrilled to have found these items. 🙂 I can only imagine the hell my father and others went through during times of war. Keeping it all inside is what destroyed them. Thankfully, much is written about how to deal with PTSD these days. Thanks for coming by!

  9. What a nice post, Debbie! As someone with family members in just about every branch of the service, I can definitely appreciate such a special collection. My father was stationed in Korea in the early 1960s, and I always found his stories and his memorabilia to be very interesting. Sorry to hear that your father had a hard time — raising one of those pewter mugs to his memory!

    1. Welcome to The Den, Paul. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I wish my father would have shared some of his stories. I can only imagine the hell he must have gone through in Korea. Thank you for coming by. Cheers!

  10. It is humbling to read this since your dad, like so many, used alcohol to numb the pain he was feeling. You show great respect to your dad by showcasing his medals and, if he were around now, he would be silently proud of what you have done in his honour. My dad was in WW2 with the Stormont, Glengarry, Dundas regiment. He was wounded in the last month of the war but he did speak of some of his experiences. I was just too young to really ask him more questions. I did recently get his military records from the Ottawa war museum where they keep this info.

    1. Those are lovely words, Birgit. Thank you! 🙂 How fortunate that your father shared some of his memories with you. I hadn’t thought of getting military records, but I definitely will look into that! Thanks for the idea. Is this something that can be done over the phone or online? Maybe another trip to Ottawa is in order. It’s been about 20 years since our last visit.

  11. Hi! Cheryl here, one of the co hosts of CBF 2016. What a wonderful tribute, both written and visual. I always love looking through my Dad’s old navy photos. He was fortunate to have served in a non war time betweeh Korea and Vietnam. But I was very inspired by the inages of the ships he trained and worked aboard. Thanks so much for sharing such a special memory and person in your life here with us.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Cheryl. 🙂 Thank you for visiting and for all the hard work you and your co-hosts put into this blogfest. It’s one of my favourites!

  12. First of all, I am sorry for your loss. Second, salute to your father for his service to his country. Third, salute to all the people who are relentlessly working day and night to keep us safe and secure. Debbie, I’m really touched by your post because I have read many horror stories of how war can impact us humans, even if we aren’t killed or wounded in the battle. It scars the human soul and mind deep inside.What a great way to put forward your story. A really nice post to say what’s close to your heart. As a co-host, I thank you for being the part of the Cherished Blogfest and I hope you’re having a great time meeting new and existing blog friends.

  13. Beautiful post. My dad served in a non combat support position in World War II, and suffered a head injury. It impacted the rest of his life. And no, he rarely talked about it. I think that was true for so many of the “Greatest Generation”. Thank you for sharing your memories.

  14. I believe most folks would first rescue their photo albums among their possessions. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your father. And I can see the resemblance!
    My most prized possession is a ring that I always wear. It belonged to my grandmother, and was the only thing she was able to rescue during the war. After she died, my mother wore the ring and never took it off, and now I wear it. The only reason my grandmother was able to save this ring during the war was because she hid it under her tongue when crossing European borders. I’ve told this story to my granddaughter, and someday she will inherit it too.

    1. Photos are precious memories and it would be awful to lose them in a fire or by any other means. I’m glad you enjoyed the tribute, Angelika. Other people have noted the resemblance also, so it must be true. 🙂 Your precious ring is a testament to your grandmother’s bravery. Great story!

  15. The memorabilia speaks of heroism and valiance. There cannot be many other things which can qualify of being cherished as close to as these photos. Thanks for sharing about your father.

  16. Such wonderful treasures!! My dad is also from the army so I know what these means. I will borrow your idea and display his pics and medals as well. Will need to consult with my brother though coz he is the collector in our family. 😀

  17. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    This is an interesting blogfest and I enjoyed the chance to view your cherished items and learn more about your father. Although he chose not to talk about his wartime experiences, the pictures and artifacts on display speak volumes about his valor and many years of service. Your father was a great man and you have every reason to be proud, Debbie!

    1. Hi, Shady; I would have loved to know more, but he had a lot of demons and just wouldn’t talk about anything to do with the war. Just like the old cliché, it must have been hell. I’m definitely proud of everything he did for his country and was thrilled to find those items and photos.

  18. What treasures! I have some of my Dad’s military memorabilia but sadly, most of his stuff disappeared somehow and no one in the family knows what happened to it. So glad to see you have your Dad’s medals proudly displayed.
    Wouldn’t it be interesting if he and my Dad crossed paths in Korea? Do you know what your Dad did back then, what his job was? My Dad was a Forward Observer, where he searched for the enemy and then communicated it back to the troops leaders.

    Neat post Debbie!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele; It’s too bad your Dad’s military memorabilia disappeared. 🙁 My father had a beautiful ceremonial sword that got lost when my parents moved to California. Items like that are irreplaceable! Who knows? Our fathers may have crossed paths in Korea. Mine was a combat platoon commander. It was his first major commission. I can only imagine the hell he lived through. This is a photo of the platoon. The mountains look just like in the opening shot of M.A.S.H. He refused to watch that show!

  19. I think this is a great post to anchor the blogfest. I only have a few bits of information about my father’s military service. I can understand why these are cherished. Thanks for joining CBF16


    1. Thank you so much, Dan. 🙂 It was a thrill to find all those items. I appreciate all the hard work you and your co-hosts put into this excellent blogfest!