3/9/2017 9:35:00 PM Canaday shares stories and patriotic gift slated for WWII Museum
Joe Robbins and Jody Brown, local veterans and club members, held the flag and the club recited a special Pledge of Allegiance led by club guest and Fishers resident, Brig. Gen. Don Canaday (retired), Past President of Kiwanis International. Canaday, who has been active in Kiwanis, traveling the world on behalf of the organization and has organized over 126 club in his nearly 50 years of organization service.
CICERO - Fishers resident, Brig. Gen. Don Canaday (ret.), Past President of Kiwanis International, was the guest speaker at last week's Cicero Kiwanis meeting. The U.S. Army veteran brought with him stories along with a special flag and the history behind it.
Canaday explained the flag was hand crafted in Bastone, Belgium by a woman who had lived in occupied Belgium for four years during WWII. She wanted to honor the U.S. soldiers when they arrived and made it in secret. This involved a degree of danger due to the occupying German forces.
Canaday had the pleasure of meeting the woman's granddaughter, then President of the Bastone Club, when he visited Kiwanis in Belgium. He returned for a visit three years later and then last year, she sent the flag to Canaday as a gift. Canaday, who felt the gift was too important to keep, wanted to share the story and give members a chance to see the flag up close and personal before donating it to the Indianapolis World War II Museum.
Canaday also told stories of his visits to six continents during his tenure as Kiwanis International President and some of the amazing work done by Kiwanians from Malaysia to Texas along with the value and benefit provided by Kiwanis around the world. He added anecdotes regarding a lifelong friendship of an Airborne 101 paratrooper and the German soldier who captured him as he landed in Bastone, and of The Battle of the Bulge and thirsty soldiers seeking some beer for the wounded in a hospital after liberation. They carried the beer in a metal GI helmet. Today, "Airborne Beer" brand is available in Belgium and is served in a mock helmet.