Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Canadian Military Heritage Museum

It's located in a non-descript business in a rather run down and deserted part of the City of Brantford, yet the Canadian Military Heritage Museum may house some of the most impressive military displays this side of the Canadian War Museum. I had opportunity to spend an hour or so at this past Friday, as part of the Veterans Week.

It is a fascinating place, filled with photographs, displays and equipment, that tells the story of Canada's involvement in the various wars of the past two centuries. While there I was informed the museum staff is planning to develop an area that will portray and honour Canada's involvement in the Afghan Conflict.

It is a privately owned and run museum that seeks to honour Canadians who fought in the various conflicts, especially those of the 20th Century. It does so through the collection of artifacts and also displays:

as well as equipment:

as well as displays:

There was a lunch meeting involved and the Rotary Club of Brantford made a donation to the Museum. The Curator read to us an email. I hope I remember the majority of the story.

This person wrote that they were recently at Pearson's International when a number of soldier walked to one of the gates. As they passed through the various gates, people stood up and began to applaud them, that alone makes it a great story. Here were average Canadians showing respect to our soldiers. As they approached their gate a little girl came up to them and began to ask the group of young men a question, she asked if any of them knew her father- her mother was there and explained to the soldiers that he was over in Afghanistan. One of the soldier got down on one knee to talk to the little girl. She said if he saw him to give him this, and proceeded to give him a big hug and kiss. The soldier said to the girl 'wait a minute' and pulled out a cellphone. He dialled some numbers and began to speak into it. After a few moments he closed his phone and spoke to the little girl. He told her he 'just' spoke to her father and he wanted to let her know he loves her and misses her. He also wanted the soldier to give her something back and he gave her a hug and a kiss. Needless to say, at the waiting area, there wasn't many dry eyes left. He stood up and continued on his way, with his comrades. As they reached their gate and began to prepare to board the flight, he turned around and saluted both the little girl and her mom.

I want to conclude with a poem by Rudyard Kipling, the Poet Laureate of the British Empire:


To T. A.

I have made for you a song,
And it may be right or wrong,
But only you can tell me if it's true;
I have tried for to explain
Both your pleasure and your pain,
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you!

O there'll surely come a day
When they'll give you all your pay,
And treat you as a Christian ought to do;
So, until that day comes round,
Heaven keep you safe and sound,
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you!

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