Remembering the past. Understanding the present. Facing the future. Those are call words for Veterans Week in Canada, the week leading up to Remembrance Day on November 11. So why not take more than just the traditional two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day to remember Canadians who fought and died in war?
To get a feel for the human side of war, here are first-hand stories from Canadians who fought in one of Canada's major wars.
The Oral History project at Veterans Affairs Canada has recorded over 1500 hours of conversations with Canadian veterans. Some of these memories are available in the Recollections - First World War series of videos.
Veterans Diaries and Letters
Reading diaries and letters of young Canadians who fought for Canada helps in understanding the reality of war, its day-to-day struggles, fear and bravery, loneliness and camaraderie, excitement and boredom. Veterans Affairs Canada has excerpts from wartime diaries, letters and stories from World War I and World War II.
My Grandmother's Wartime Diary
My Grandmother's Wartime Diary was a project for Women's History Month in which Veterans Affairs Canada employees contributed stories from their mothers, grandmothers, and friends about their war experiences both in service and at home. The stories of these women give a unique and heartwarming look at wartime Canada.
Canadian Letters and Images Project
The Canadian Letters and Images Project is an online archive of wartime correspondence, photographs, and other personal materials from Canadians in war. A partnership between Malaspina University College and the University of Western Ontario, this project preserves the personal experiences of Canadians in war and tells a remarkable story of Canada at war.
Memory Project Veterans Archive
Historica Canada's Memory Project hosts Stories of Service and Sacrifice, an online database with stories from about 2300 Canadian veterans of World War II and the Korean War. You can use the Advanced Search to search the database by veteran's name, home province, war and branch of service, as well as by theme.
Books of Remembrance
Every time you see a picture of Canada's Parliament Buildings, remember that the central Peace Tower was named in memory of Canadians who sacrificed their lives in World War 1. The Memorial Chamber on the second floor of the Peace Tower holds seven Books of Remembrance which list the names of more than 100,000 Canadians who fought in wars and died.You can search the books for a name and find out when that page will be displayed in the Memorial Chamber.