Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Passage Of History

Each summer, a couple of spots, close together downtown, are the sites for a series of panels on a given subject or two. The first of those sites is Plaza Bridge, which crosses the Rideau Canal just south of the Ottawa Locks. This year the federal government has partnered with the Canadian Science & Technology Museum and National Geographic for a theme on climate change, here and around the world. Panels examine the growing problem, the threat to ecoystems, and efforts being made to counter the issue. The panels contrast well with the surrounding architecture of the bridge, the government Conference Centre, the Chateau Laurier, and the National Arts Centre.

The other site is across the bridge along the terrace that leads beside the Chateau Laurier and into Major's Hill Park. Panels are placed outside the building's parking garage, and this year the theme is about the Hundred Days, so termed for the final days of World War One. Starting in early August, the Allied powers started an offensive that would end the war, finally employing combined arms fighting in a way that broke the stalemate of four years of war. Ludendorff termed the 8th of August the "black day of the German army." Veterans Affairs and Canadian Heritage are the two government departments that have put this series together.

The panels feature colourized photos, with the originals beneath, of Canada's experience in those days both at home and at the front. It starts with the original tombstone for a Canadian private named George Price, thought to be the last soldier killed in the war.

The success of the Hundred Days empowered returning veterans upon coming home, to the point where they were willing to protest the gap between rich and poor and demand a better society for the sacrifice they and their comrades in arms had made.

Racial discrimination was a factor during the war, but that didn't stop black Canadians from serving. These three men pose in a captured bunker during the Hundred Days.

Nursing sisters were present during the Hundred Days, and their service throughout the war allowed them to vote in the federal election in 1917, among the first Canadian women to do so. Here they are seen casting ballots. I have more from this tomorrow.


  1. Clima changes have always existed ! Otherwise we would still have Dinosaurs on our streets and the UK would be attached to France ! I don't mind to have more months of warm summers here in Belgium !

  2. Poor George Price! The photos on the display of WWI panels are amazing - thank you for showing them. I'm looking forward to more on these:)

  3. How incredible is your country that you can have expensive panels displayed outside. I'm saddened to see racism even way back in WWI but commend those soldiers for smiling throughout it all. Racism has blighted our country throughout its history and we're still trying to get rid of it. I'm glad to see that the sisters were repaid for their noble work by being the first to vote at the time! You, like Gattina, make history so interesting, William. Thanks for your posts and thank you for your regular comments on my blog!

  4. Two special and impressive series.
    Climate change is one of the biggest problems at this moment and for future generations.

  5. I must admit that I don't know that much about WW1. It is nice to be reminded.


  6. Racism still exists today. Some politicians used it to their advantage. Interesting information about WW1.

  7. ...and here I am told that this fake news.

  8. @Gattina: unfortunately we as humans are presently making it worse.

    @Rosie: someone had to be the last one killed in the war. Chance made it him.

    @Jo: thank you!

    @Jan: it is indeed.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Janis: America really only entered it in the last year, so it's less of an impact on the history of your country than it is on ours.

    @Nancy: that's unfortunately true.

    @Tom: the previous federal government would have never tolerated a series of displays on climate change.

  9. Two very different topics. I hope they both have an effect on people.

  10. The panels are such a brilliant way for the general public to peruse without having to go into a gallery. I often wonder what those brave young men and women would think of the world situation today!

  11. That's impressive. I love how you learn all this cool stuff on your photo ventures!

  12. I just heard a story about a school board somewhere in our state that had a proposal to not teach anything about climate change because it's not a proven science. That left me scratching my head. How much proof doe these people need? Fortunately, that proposal did not pass.

  13. @Lois: I certainly think so.

    @Red: I would hope so too.

    @Grace: I think both areas see a lot of foot traffic each day, so these are good spots for these panels.

    @Jeanie: I do like how these change from year to year.

    @Sharon: the capacity for ignorance from some people astounds me. I'm reminded of a moron I once crossed online who thought creationism should be taught in schools and that evolution and scientific concepts of the development of the universe should never be taught.

  14. Both of these themes are so relevant and important and those panels look like they do a good job getting the messages out to people!

  15. What a wonderful way to display history so people can read it and learn.

  16. I am glad the history of women in the wars is being recognized!

  17. I love the smile on three soldiers. It’s sad racism still exists. Climate change should be addressed. Unfortunately some are going backwards but I think more people are aware and taking action for environment.

  18. @Karl: definitely.

    @RedPat: these thematic panels do a good job of that each year.

    @Bill: it is. And both spots have heavy foot traffic passing through all the time.

    @Marie: it is well worth recognizing.

    @Maywyn: thank you!

    @Tamago: I agree.

  19. We don't want to really admit it,but racism is still around us...

  20. I agree with what Bill said - it is a wonderful way to display history so people can read it and learn.

    All the best Jan

  21. Unique way of displaying great photos and history ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  22. i saw some one say ur header shot changed ...yep ... it did. nice! ( ;

  23. This is such a contrast to the U.S. When he-who-must-not-be-named came into office our federal websites were stripped of references to climate change. And, of course, white supremacy doesn't seem to be a problem for this lot.

  24. I cannot see all the photos. My server is a bit wonky today. They are taking forever to load!!!

  25. @Klara: it is.

    @Jan: it certainly does that.

    @Carol: it's a good idea.

    @Beth: yes, a few days back.

    @Kay: our previous PM would have never stood for climate change being dealt with on any level.

    @Jennifer: that's odd... it must be your server.