Three ways of un­der­stand­ing Canada’s war con­tri­bu­tions

The Western Star - - REMEMBRANCE DAY -

Liv­ing in a peace­ful coun­try like Canada, it’s easy to for­get the wars of the 20th cen­tury in which our coun­try’s free­dom and har­mony hung in the bal­ance. On Re­mem­brance Day, and through­out the year, we should en­gage with this past so that we can bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate the great sac­ri­fices made by Cana­di­ans in th­ese dev­as­tat­ing con­flicts. Here are a few good ways to re­con­nect with this his­tory.

1. Visit a war me­mo­rial

There are over 6,000 war memo­ri­als in Canada, each with a unique story and sig­nif­i­cance. Th­ese af­fect­ing and artis­tic con­struc­tions will in­spire you to re­flect on the sol­diers who ded­i­cated them­selves to var­i­ous war ef­forts and the his­to­ries they rep­re­sent.

2. Dis­cover the his­tory

To wholly ap­pre­ci­ate the sac­ri­fices of Cana­dian sol­diers, we need to know who they were and why they were fight­ing. One way of learn­ing about this is by vis­it­ing one of Canada’s many mil­i­tary and war mu­se­ums. An­other way is by read­ing about the his­tory. Some good places to start your re­search are the Mil­i­tary Her­itage sec­tion of the Li­brary and Ar­chives Canada web­site and the His­tory sec­tion of the Vet­eran Af­fairs Canada web­site.

3. Speak with and sup­port Canada’s vet­er­ans

Vet­er­ans are usu­ally happy to tell you about their mil­i­tary ex­pe­ri­ence. By talk­ing with them you’ll grat­ify their need to share their per­sonal sto­ries and also learn a mean­ing­ful bit of his­tory you can keep alive by pass­ing on to oth­ers. Ad­di­tion­ally, you can sup­port vet­er­ans in fi­nan­cial need by do­nat­ing to or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion and VETS Canada. Visit their web­sites — le­gion.ca and vetscanda.org — for more in­for­ma­tion.

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