A simple card. A hand-printed note.
But to an old, air force veteran of the Second World War, it means everything.
"Happy Remembrance day.
Thank you for giving our country freedom.
Love: Savannah Hamilton Age:12."
That was last year’s message. On Monday, when the ever-dwindling group of venerable veterans gathers at the cenotaph for this year’s Remembrance Day services, Savannah, now 13, will again present her hand-crafted specialties, as she has every year since she was about four.
“She’s quite a special little girl to remember us all after all these years, at her age,” said Morrison, 96. “I think she’s wonderful.”
Warrant Officer (Ret.) Morrison flew 30 missions as a tail gunner in an Avro Lancaster bomber between England and Germany during the war. Dealing with enemy aircraft in the skies along with anti-aircraft fire from below, the bombers faced difficult odds during the war. And Morrison has the medals to prove it.
He is the only surviving member of his seven-man bomber crew. As the number of veterans from his era become fewer in numbers each year, Morrison believes it's more important than ever that those who fought to keep Canada free from oppression, be remembered.
It's those members of the younger generation, like Savannah, who give him hope that sacrifices made by him and his comrades, will not be forgotten.
“I think the younger group are coming around a little bit,” he said.
And each card he receives from Savannah brings a smile to his face.
“I just feel good about it,” Morrison said. “I appreciate it very much that she takes the time and the trouble to do this every year. It’s amazing.”
So, what made her start?
“I honestly don’t remember,” Savannah says. “I think someone else wanted me to help and then I started doing it for as long as I can remember.”
She does, however, know why she continues.
“Because they helped make Canada how it is now,” she said. “I normally give them a card that says how thankful I am and sometimes I will draw something that has to do with it, like a poppy or something.”
Savannah’s mother, Jamie Lee Higgins is proud of her daughter’s continued effort to respect the veterans, especially given the family’s military connections, that include Jamie's brothers, Bruce Hamilton Jr. and Jonathan Hamilton.
“Both of my brothers are military and have been, right out of high school,” Jamie said. “She was even on my hip when she was five months old when we were seeing my brother off to Afghanistan. So we always appreciate the military and the veterans, it’s just one of the big things in my family.”
Savannah plans to keep sharing her Remembrance Day creations with the veterans for at least as long as she is in school.
This year something different, aside from a card is in the works, although she is keeping that under wraps until Monday’s services.
But rest assured, her kindness will be reflected on these aging faces.
“It just makes me happy ... seeing them smile, bringing them joy.”