Feature Letter of September 21st, 2017
Drader, Eugene Robert
He was game to the very last; he was a soldier every inch; he died a soldier's death.
He was buried near where he fell-a real soldier's burial, not the parade style of military funeral, but the short hesitating prayer that was said over his grave, with our heads bowed very low on account of the machine gun fire, was the most sincere prayer ever offered up.
He was loved and respected by everyone who knew him-the very type of soldierly bearing, kindness and good judgment.
He was the best friend I ever had. We knew all of each other's affairs, and I can assure you that his reputation for straightforwardness and clean living was well deserved.
On all sides I hear the same remarks-"the pity of it" - his youth, his build, carriage, and appearance impressed those who did not know him intimately. Those of us who were privileged to be his intimates add many noble qualities to this list.
Since his death I am not the same; I cannot be; but everyone is kind and I have received much kind sympathy, for we were known as inseparables.
As deeply as I feel it, it can be nothing in comparison with your feelings.
In his civilian life too, I wish you knew the excellent influence he has had on the lives of the young who knew him as their teacher. They worship him, and what is more, they try to imitate him. Many, many hearts in Edmonton and Gull Lake will be very, very sad.
And your grief; it seemed at first that no one could be more heartbroken than I myself; and I took chances for over a day in the front line that I never would have taken otherwise; I seemed to be obsessed with the one idea, that Eugene and I must not be separated. But I know there's nothing to compare with father's and mother's love, so I send you sympathy and I mean it more than I ever meant those words before. I share your sorrow, words cannot say how deeply.