Two generations honoring the past and supporting the future

Young Mary Land wearing her Red Cross uniform. Photo is black and white.
Mary Land was 21 when she enlisted in a group of volunteers who were specially trained for wartime service known as the Canadian Red Cross Corps during the Second World War. Mary was one of the 641 Corps members to represent the Canadian Red Cross overseas during the war.
At 95 years old Mary and her son John had a chance to watch a tribute video of Canadian women like herself who served in the Canadian Red Cross Corps. Mary received the Queens Jubilee medal in 2003 for her lifetime service to the Canadian Red Cross presented by MPP Jim Bradley at the St Catharines office of Red Cross.
John was able to show his mother the video a second time just 48 hours before her passing. John said, “This really was an amazing DVD experience for both Mum and me. I can't imagine anything more wonderful as a final gift. I had tears.”
Mary had supported the Canadian Red Cross her entire life, even having the certificate Red Cross had given her pinned outside her room. John said, “I think it was her greatest honour.”
John didn’t plan to speak at his mother’s funeral, however, the last line in the video he watched with his mother pushed him to speak. John recalled, For a few short years, these women lived remarkable lives. The one word "Remarkable" described my Mum.

Mary Land is sitting on a chair in front of a Cake and a bouquet of flowers to celebrate herHis final gift to his mother was to pay tribute to the remarkable life Mary lived and her service to the Red Cross as a volunteer.
While watching video with his mother, John was able to recognize the over shoulder kit bag Mary had given him that had great memories. Many memories came back from seeing portrait pictures of the women volunteers like his mother’s as well as learning about how many of the women met their husband overseas. In fact, Mary met her husband in Britain who was the very first radar operator on the British battleship HMS HOWE. The tribute video was not only a treat for Mary, but it brought many memories for John.
This story is not only Mary’s remarkable journey as well as generational planned gifts through John walking in his mother’s footsteps and leaving a planned gift of his own. Their gifts will make a difference that will resonate for generations. A legacy gift to the Canadian Red Cross is unique because it’s the gift of saving a life long after our own is over. Except it’s not one life. It’s thousands upon thousands of lives each year.

Related articles:
The Land Family Legacy: Two generations of honouring the past while supporting the future
A Red Cross legacy of giving to help future generations: Peter and Donna’s story
Leaving a lasting impression with Canadian Red Cross Legacy Giving

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