The rights and freedoms we possess have been preserved for us by the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers, sailors, and airmen in a variety of conflicts and missions throughout the last 100 years. As the Rights & Freedoms section of this web site showed, in order to protect us, the members of the Canadian military have given up the very rights they were fighting to safeguard. They have spent years away from their families, endured harsh, nearly unimaginable conditions, and watched their close friends die or be maimed, while others have been killed or maimed themselves. As they made this sacrifice on our behalf, they were trained and expected to take the lives of the enemy -- something that went against everything they believed in their normal life outside of the conflict. After their service was no longer needed, when the war was won or the mission completed, those who survived returned to Canada to deal with their memories with little support from the Canadian people or their government. Their families and friends, unless they were veterans themselves, frequently had difficulty in comprehending the effects of those experiences. No matter how hard they tried, they could not always help the returning veterans to come to terms with their wartime experiences. Despite the parades and monuments celebrating the wartime achievements of the members of the army, navy, and air force, the burden of their memories was one they all too frequently had to bear alone.
The following pages highlight some of the experiences and accomplishments of the Canadian military in the three principal conflicts of the twentieth century -- the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War. These pages focus on some of the key battles and engagements that have helped to preserve the Canadian nation. As you go through the pages, in addition to the images, graphs, and virtual reality images on the page, you will see links to additional multimedia materials that contain first hand accounts of war service, either in the form of text or as audio clips from interviews with veterans. These items will give us a very brief glimpse into the lives of soldiers. Hopefully, they will help us to appreciate why we honour their sacrifice on Remembrance Day and every other day of the year.