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Our Veterans

Interactive maps now telling Canada’s military history
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Interactive maps now telling Canada’s military history

Canadians interested in military history will soon have a new—and free—interactive tool for researching the Canadian Army’s Italian Campaign during the Second World War. Several years ago, the Canadian Research and Mapping Association (CRMA) set out to create an interactive website—www.project44.ca—to collect digitally preserved maps, aerial imagery, photographs and war diaries tracing the progress of the Canadian Army during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. “We wanted people to be able to visualize what was happening,” said Drew Hannen, vice president of the association. “The platform is great to give context to what happened and where it happened.” The website’s first project was “The Road to Liberation,” which was launched on the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019. Click on the...
Navy changes its junior ranks
Navy, News

Navy changes its junior ranks

The Royal Canadian Navy has renamed its junior ranks to better reflect what its commander called the “ever-evolving international and domestic contexts in which we live and operate.” As part of that effort, the navy has dispensed with its ‘Seaman’ ranks, renaming them the gender-neutral ‘Sailor.’ Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, the navy commander, said the service’s public consultations on the proposed change collected almost 18,000 opinions from serving, veteran and civilian respondents, more than 75 per cent of whom supported the move. “I was especially appreciative of the overwhelming participation by the junior ranks who will be most impacted,” McDonald wrote in an open letter. The initiative, he added, prompted “frank and passionate” discussion online and in offices, shops and mess...
Dolls for small hands
Our Veterans

Dolls for small hands

How Izzy dolls comfort children in hot spots around the world While on patrol in Croatia in the fall of 1992, Master Corporal Mark Isfeld of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment spotted a figure lying prone on the rubble of a house that had been hit by artillery in the civil war that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. When he went to investigate he found it was not a child, as he had feared, but an abandoned doll. He took a photo of it and showed it to his mother, Carol Isfeld, when he was visiting her on his return to Canada. “Look,” he said. “A little girl has lost her doll and a doll has lost her little girl.” That comment and her son’s obvious compassion for the children he was encountering on peacekeeping missions inspired her to knit a bunch of very small woollen dolls. ...
Choose our cover for the next issue of Legion Magazine!
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Choose our cover for the next issue of Legion Magazine!

Click on above cover to enlarge. Help choose the January/February 2021 issue of Legion Magazine! The January/February 2021 issue of Legion Magazine looks at the Battle of Verdun in the First World War. In a terrible war of attrition, the French army resisted multiple attacks by German forces. “They shall not pass!” was a French general’s rallying cry. Also in the issue: The 43-day Gulf War in 1990-91 was Canada’s first war since Korea. A new research and treatment centre for veterans with chronic pain. The RCN’s worst peacetime accident—the explosion on HMCS Kootenay in 1969. And more! Loading…
Trip inspired Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
News

Trip inspired Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Almost a quarter century ago, The Royal Canadian Legion spearheaded in the creation of the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier of the First World War was reinterred with military honours at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on May 28, 2000, an event that would change the face of remembrance in Canada. In one of his first acts as dominion secretary of the Legion in 1996, retired brigadier-general Duane Daly attended a conference in South Africa. Daly, a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran, had never walked the hallowed ground of a Canadian battlefield cemetery. In South Africa, he visited several, and they were not what he expected. Immersing himself in the history of Canada’s role in the Boer War, Daly sought out Canadian military graves...
Good works: Legion branches across Canada have been filling gaps caused by the pandemic
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Good works: Legion branches across Canada have been filling gaps caused by the pandemic

Royal Canadian Legion branches across the country have continued their good works in spite of and, in many cases, because of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Branches were closed to social gatherings for months and, with buildings locked up and little money coming in, the financial blows to many have been devastating. Nevertheless, members stepped up with food runs, veterans’ outreach, efforts to help outfit front-line workers with protective equipment and other measures to help ease the situation in local communities. “The Royal Canadian Legion has been around for 95 years—survived the Great Depression and war,” said Steven Dieter, Eastern Ontario public relations officer and a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces, “but this is a unique situation. “We are trying...