Through October 2, the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa is presenting an outdoor photo exhibition called Snapshots of Canada. This exhibition includes images and texts by prominent authors, journalists and historians.
By Tim Cook, C.M.
Award-winning author and military historian at the Canadian War Museum.
Across the country, Canadians flooded the streets on May 8, 1945, when it was announced that the war in Europe was over. The celebrations everywhere were wild, with booze-imbibed kisses given freely, and six years of tension released in the party to end all parties. Canadians had bled for the victory but had emerged internationally as a strong middle power. The country had a hard-hitting army and air force, and the fourth-largest navy in the world. Canada had earned its laurels. VE Day was not the end of the Second World War. There was still Japan to be defeated. By the time the conflict ended, Canada had suffered close to 45,000 dead and almost 55,000 wounded. Canada had helped win the war, but at a high cost.