Remembering my father on Remembrance Day

November 11 | 2020

For my father, the D-Day landing was a defining moment—one that he remembered into his old age even as his memory began to fail. In 1942, Archie Kirsch, a young Jewish doctor from Montreal, volunteered for overseas duty with the Canadian Medical Corps. As I describe in my memoir, The Smallest Objective, my father was assigned to The Queen’s Own Rifles, Canada’s oldest infantry regiment. Soon after the D-Day landing on Juno Beach, my father was injured while administering morphine to a wounded comrade. The young medic refused to surrender his duties. The book Canadians at War tells how Captain Kirsch dragged his patient “to a more sheltered spot . . . and carried on calmly and efficiently, the model of a medical officer in action.”