I love the War Museum in Ottawa. First, it’s a splendid building. Unique, although it does remind me of a castle. As a kid in Germany I visited many castles and that feeling of them, ruined or restored, was just like the modern War Museum here : splendid. Full of architectural splendour of concrete and stone and soaring angles and nooks and crannies.
Secondly, as a former army brat and military spouse, I love the comfort of the exhibits, the artifacts, the whole smell of the place. There’s even a section that recreates our PMQs (married quarters on military bases, ie, homes I grew up in), living rooms with familiar old furniture and all. I don’t usually dwell on the past nor on the fact that I have no hometown – life is in the present after all with the thrill of the future to look to – but it is nice sometimes to feel what it is like to have come from somewhere.
Thirdly, I love what the War Museum represents to our society. Peace. Order. Freedom. Lessons to learn for a better future. All museums are wonderful to me but the War museum more than most. It even acts as a current sanctuary – I was at the Bluesfest music festival years ago when a sudden storm-burst took down the stage. With thousands of others, I sheltered inside the solid welcoming walls of the museum, as at home and safe there as I ever felt.
And so, with great pride I announce that my book, Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story by Michele Sabad, has now just been acquired by the War Museum, to take a place in the gift shop, available to visitors to purchase there. It is a lifetime achievement to me, to think that my little memoir of what life was like as a child growing up in the ’60s and ’70s on military bases throughout Canada and Germany, then as an Air Force wife and mother, and now retired to my kids’ hometown of Aylmer, Quebec – to think that my very own book will be available in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa – I am honoured and humbled.
If you are ever in Ottawa, please enjoy a visit to the War Museum.