In 2006, I was living in London England and took a weekend trip to Juno Beach and visited the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. I was stuck by the grave of a Jewish soldier – Bombardier George Meltz (July 8, 1944). The inscription on his headstone read “He died so Jewry shall suffer no more”.
I did some research and discovered he was the youngest of 10 children and he grew up only a few houses away from where my own grandparents lived at that time in downtown Toronto. I found an address for his niece and wrote her a letter. We had coffee in Toronto, and she told me about his life and that of the rest of his family. I donated a commemorative brick at the Juno Beach war memorial in his honour. (https://www.junobeach.org/bricks/K13-3-133/)
A few months later moved back to Toronto and enlisted to join the Queens Own Rifles of Canada Infantry reserve unit in downtown Toronto. My choice of regiment was also inspired by that trip to Juno Beach – https://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/museums-and-heritage-sites/canadian-house/
In 2011, I received an email from George’s niece. Apparently, a journalist was also moved by the grave and wrote this https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/1466310-chance-find-for-richmond-hill-woman/
In 2015, I saw the chairs of the 2015 UJA Campaign wrote this article inspired by the same inscription.
In an age of rising antisemitism, and continued conflict. May George Meltz’ memory be a blessing and on this Remembrance Day may we remember and thank everyone who served and continues to serve to end Jewish suffering and all suffering around the world.