The Canadian War Museum lies at the heart of Lebreton Flats. It has been here at its current location since 2005, with the building housing the story of Canada's involvement in wars at home and around the world. The architecture reminds me of a bunker, a ship, or a bomber plane depending on how one looks at it or the time of day. Entirely appropriate for its purposes. I paid a visit early this month, assuming that on Remembrance Day the museum would have protocols in place making veterans and active service people the priority in terms of visitors. Fall colours were still shining.
The parkland to the south of the building is lined with maple trees in full red.
Inside, the temporary exhibit that was here when I last visited in the summer has been extended to next September. Forever Changed tells the story of the Second World War through various people who lived through it. I found it a very effective and affecting exhibit for its use of personal stories, and that was the case again this time.
Here are some of the people to be met throughout the exhibit.
One of the first items we actually see is this. This is a Polsten anti-aircraft gun made in Canada and used by British and Canadian troops throughout the European theatre.
Items behind it include a worn flag from the corvette H.M.C.S. Arrowhead, a pennant from the days of victory bonds, and a sculpture.
The sculpture is a woman in the work place. With so many men off to war, the number of women working outside of the home doubled during the war.
An unusual item but found often in wartime industries: an ear as a reminder to mind what you said, as it was never known if the enemy might be among you.
Edith Vollrath was one of many Canadian women who stepped up during the war and worked in wartime production.
Below we find a signed book and ceremonial tray given to Annie Laing, who was chosen to launch the H.M.C.S. Runnymede, a warship that took part in the Battle of the Atlantic, escorting merchant ships across to Europe. She sent eight sons to war; one would return with post traumatic stress and another would be killed at sea.