The Remembering Project

DisplaysHow do you Remember without a memory? With Remembrance Day approaching many of us are asked to do just this. But it's pretty abstract for those of us with no direct experience of the war. And if you're under sixteen Remembrance Day is probably just so many words, if it's even a thought beyond a day off from school. Grant McAvoy, organizer of The Remembering Project, has found one way to change this!

Mr. McAvoy is a retired school teacher and military vehicle collector. This combination represented both idea and opportunity. He brought together World War veterans, military collectors like the Western Command Military Vehicle Historical Society, the Abbotsford School District, the City of Abbotsford, and the MSA Museum to create an experience for students so they might have a better understanding of what Remembrance Day is all about.

In addition to static vehicle displays, some of which you can climb on (how cool is that), there were opportunities to try on the scratchy wool uniforms, hold some of the soldier's kit and see how heavy it was, sign a large Canadian flag being sent to Canadian solders in Afghanistan, send some morse code, write a letter to soldiers in Afghanistan, paint your face with camouflage make-up, and pose questions to a panel of veterans. In other words, a chance to bring Remembrance into the tangible. The exhibition is so popular they've had to turn schools away.

Mr. McAvoy and others are working to create a permanent version of the The Remembering Project through a group they created called the Canadian Military Education Center (CMEC). From their website:

The CMEC will be an interactive, living history museum that will purposefully educate Canadian students, teachers and the public about Canadian military history.

Kudo's to everyone involved in both The Remembering Project and CMEC. I not only learned some interesting tidbits I didn't know (during the war Inglis switched from making washing machines to submachine guns, hmmmm), The Remembering Project added a few more real memories for me to contemplate during my minute of silence on November 11th. I expect it did the same for the kids, too.

Veteran Q&A Sten Gun Harley

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