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Okanagan Military Museum

 

ARMY

 

The Canadian Army has fought alongside our allies in wars and peacekeeping actions throughout the world. During WWI the army proved itself in many battles on the western front including spectacular victories such as the taking of Vimy Ridge and the 100 days campaign that drove into Belgium. By the end of the war a distinct Canadian military identity had been earned by our troops.

During WWII the army saw action in allied campaigns around the globe. In Italy Canadian troops fought in many difficult battles against a determined enemy from Sicily to the Gothic Line. In Northwest Europe the Canadian Army landed in Normandy on one of the five assigned invasion beaches alongside the American and British forces. They advanced farther than any other allied force on D-Day and continued to fight against the toughest German units in the desperate battles that followed. They advanced along the coast of northern France and liberated Holland to the undying gratitude of the people there. At the end of WWII the Canadian Army had established itself as a military force of the first order both in size and quality.


Canadian troops with Dutch civilians

In the post-war world the army maintained a major presence in western Europe during the Cold War as part of the NATO deterrent. It fought in Korea and participated in many UN peacekeeping missions. With the advent of new security demands in the 1990s it participated in NATO peacekeeping and peacemaking missions that continue to this day.

The human cost of these achievements has been very high and Canadian soldiers have fallen in action on fields of conflict that encompass the world. During WWI a Canadian surgeon penned a poem that has become an icon of remembrance - In Flanders Fields:

Last Post

 

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and Flanders Field

“IN FLANDER'S FIELDS”
by Lieut-Col. John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

 

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