Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance, a neighbourhood

It is difficult for us to grasp the the scale of loss experienced by those who lived through World War I.

One can read about the carnage at Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele, but the real impact on the then-small nation of Canada can be best understood when brought down to the level of neighbourhoods.

Toronto Star web editor Patrick Cain has done this with an amazing interactive map of the city's Riverdale neighbourhood. Cain's map uses a poppy to identify each of almost 200 individual homes that received the dreaded telegram informing them that a son had been lost in the trenches. The virtual sea of poppies reflects the heartache that permeated city neighbourhoods, towns and rural villages across the entire country. Click on any poppy for additional information on a soldier.

67,000 Canadians died in World War 1, almost 1% of the entire population, and more than one in ten of those who served.

If you are interested in learning more about the death of a relative in Canada's wars, please search the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

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