Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Visiting Our Nation's Capital

Skip and I paid a visit to Ottawa these last few days. While there, we visited some of the places tourists typically visit like the ByWard Market and Sparks Street Mall.

We also visited National Gallery,

the Terry Fox monument which is situated directly in front of Parliament Hill on the south side of Wellington St.

and the Parliament Buildings and Peace Tower,

The Peace Tower not only stands as an architectural feature and landmark, it functions as a memorial. It houses the Memorial Chamber with stained glass windows and various other features illustrating Canada's war record, such as the brass plates made from spent shell casings found on battlefields that were inlaid into the floor, and bore the name of each of Canada's major conflicts during the First World War.
Books of Remembrance are placed there in which are written the names of all Canadian soldiers, airmen and seamen who lost their lives in service to the Crown (before 1931) and Canada (after 1931). The central feature of this chamber is the Book of Remembrance for the 66,000 servicemen who died during World War I.
There are steps up and inside this case is the actual Book of Remembrance.
The pages of this book are turned regularly so that each pair of pages appears to the public at least once during a year.

A few weeks ago, I learned that my maternal grandmother's brother, Carl Knapp Brown, had died on April 12, 1917, three days after he was injured at Vimy Ridge. I sent away for a copy of the page on which his name appears. This is a free service and can be applied for here. Within a couple of weeks, I received this letter.

and with it a copy of the title page of the Book of Remembrance,
and the page upon which his name (Private Carl Brown 42nd Batallion) appears.

I never knew my great-uncle, Carl, nor ever remember hearing Grandma speak about him. In spite of that, I got quite verklempt when I stepped up to the case and looked at the actual book from which this page came, knowing that this page was on display only last week.

The primary purpose of our trip, nowever, was to visit with my Aunt Margaret and Cousin Jeannie and her significant other, Jim. Margaret will be celebrating her 93rd birthday this June 29 (which also happens to be my wedding anniversary). Margaret lives in a retirement home which is only 2 years old. We got the grand tour and enjoyed a couple of dinners in the grand dining room. It felt like we were in a very nice hotel.

Jeannie is a wonderful hostess and we enjoyed her warm hospitality (and yummy meals) while we stayed at her lovely home.

While waiting for dinner last night, Jeannie, Margaret and I posed for a girl's family photo.
The entire trip was great. We especially enjoyed the warm, summer weather and although there were hardly any tulips left in bloom during their Tulip Festival, we still had a great time visiting family and seeing the sights.

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