Remembrance Day is a special day where we remember the sacrifices and contributions from the men and women who have sacrificed so much for us. To me the day always conjures up memories of my grandparents who served in the World Wars. My maternal grandfather was an electrician who helped fix tanks in the Italian campaign. My paternal grandfather served in the Navy with his brother. So many of us have memories of those who came back, and those who did not. These memories live on through videos, pictures, correspondence, and other materials that can teach the newest generations about the contributions of those who came before.
There are many materials which can help us remember, and with this blog I’d like to share just some.
Outside of the library, The Canadian War Museum is an awe inspiring place which is definitely worth the visit to Ottawa for. If you can’t make it, they also have excellent online resources such as their online exhibit for Remembrance Day available here. Veteran’s Affairs has materials on veterans, and for veterans. You can find them here [click for link]. For those who want to remember and pay tribute close to home, Windsor will have a Remembrance Day ceremony as it does annually on the 11th.
Windsor was blessed to have Stanley Scislowski, the inspirational veteran who we sadly lost this year, and who left us with many great works. 60th Anniversary Italian Campaign Commemoration: A Tour Of The War Cemeteries And The Battlegrounds and Not All Of Us Were Brave are just two books by the local author and veteran. Mr. Scislowski also helped with the Veteran’s Memory Project, which records and preserves the memories of veterans. The Memory Project also has speakers go into classrooms, and was supported in part by the work of the Windsor Historical Society.
Your library also has many resources for you. There are so many in fact, that I can’t possibly list them all in a simple blog post. For example, if you do a search for “war” you’d get 10001 results. I will try and offer a brief list of just a few that I would recommend.
For children, I would strongly recommend In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae. It’s by Linda Granfield, who also did The Road To Afghanistan and The Unknown Solider (both for younger readers.) Other great resources include World War I for Kids: A History for 21 Activities, Women Heroes Of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, And Medics, & Shooting At The Stars The Christmas Truce Of 1914
In Flanders Fields: Poetry Of The First World War explores poetry from the ‘Great War.’ John McCrae’s War:In Flanders Fields follows the experience of the iconic Canadian from Guelph Ontario and is available on DVD. Passchendaele: Canada’s Triumph And Tragedy On The Fields Of Flanders : An Illustrated History explores a seminal moment in Canadian history.
For Adults, one of my favourite books is Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World by Margaret Olwen MacMillan. This book explores how the Treaty of Versailles came about in a thoroughly fascinating read. MacMillan is definitely an author worth checking out.
There are a myriad of resources available on World War I and World War II. These include DVDs, books, ebooks, and more. We have materials on the war in Afhganistan, the Korean War, Canadian Peacekeepers, and many other topics to help people get educated and remember.
We of course encourage everyone to visit the cenotaph, and observe a minute of silence on Remembrance Day. It’s a day to remember the contributions of, and say thank you to, our veterans. So join your library in saying thank you, and remembering the sacrifices of those who have contributed so much for us.