Canada’s National Museum of Military History was established in 1880, under the auspices of the militia officers of the Ottawa Garrison, as a collection of military artifacts. Over the succeeding years, the collection grew to the point that a larger, dedicated building was needed. By 1942, the Canadian War Museum was officially established and the new building’s design was reminiscent of a bunker. Small windows along the top of the structure spell out, in Morse Code, “Lest We Forget.” The current museum’s exhibits ( which now number more than 500,000 items) are dedicated to conflicts on Canadian soil (some dating back to the first reports of death by armed conflict several hundred years ago), to those in South Africa, World Wars I and II, and the “Cold War.” A stated mission of the museum is to explore the impact of war on Canadian history. As such, the museum does not glorify war, but rather looks at its effect on the human experience. From that perspective, we found this museum to be enlightening.
In spite of conflict, life has a way of carrying on,...even prospering.