While the present Canadian War Museum officially opened in 2005, the beginnings of this important site stretch back into the 19th century. Since the stated purpose of the Museum is to educate, preserve, and remember, choosing to include the Museum in your vacation plans will make it easier to appreciate the history of the nation. You will also learn more about the development of its military, and how what has happened in the past continues to exert influence on the present and future.
Early Museum and Archive Efforts
As far back as 1880, efforts were made to create a centralized repository for items connected with Canada’s military history. From a humble depot to the creation of a formal archive in 1967, the idea of a multifunctional museum remained. With the construction of the present Museum, that dream is now a reality.
Visitors may visit galleries that have to do with specific events or eras in Canadian military history. For example, one gallery is devoted to events that took place in the decades before Canada became a country in its own right. A second gallery focuses on The South African Wars that took place as the 19th century moved into the 20th. That same gallery also includes artifacts connected with Canada’s efforts during World War I.
A third gallery is devoted to Canada’s involvement in World War II, calling attention to the fact that the nation provided much of the military might utilized by the Allies to emerge victorious. A final gallery deals with events after World War II and up to the present. There, the visitor can learn more about the contributions made by Canada during what is know as the post-Cold War Era.
No visit to the Museum is complete without paying a visit to Memorial Hall. The Hall houses a single item: the headstone of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The positioning of the headstone ensures that it is in direct sunlight on Remembrance Day every November. Visitors will find that the Hall provides a quiet place for contemplation and remembering those who have lost their lives in service to their country.