ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

September 2016

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26 SHOULDER TO SHOULDER I magine the Halifax waterfront a hundred years ago.....what it would have been like with hundreds of ships, thousands of sailors and a whole city bustling with the preparations and necessities of war. It is hard to visualize that scene or the tremendous efforts underway to support Canada's fighting men during the First World War, or the importance of Halifax in the story of staging and transporting the Canadian Expeditionary Force to England and on to Belgium and France. To commemorate the centennial years of the First World War, the vision of the Last Steps Memorial project is to appropriately mark the sacred ground upon which the footsteps of the those soldiers were effect, to create a place for learning and reflection along the waterfront for the port of Halifax. Working together with the project co-chair, Corinne MacLellan, the conceptual artist, Nancy Keating and a dedicated project team, we created a simple meaningful place of commemoration for all who visit this city; a place that reminds us all of the cost of war. The Last Steps Memorial Arch is the first major community outreach project undertaken by the Army Museum Halifax Citadel since it was established in 1953 and its aim is to bring people a little closer to history; to make it more personal and to remind them of the important national service given by our ancestors a hundred years ago. On May 20, 1915, near the exact location of the arch, the first full strength infantry battalion from Nova Scotia, the 25th Battalion (NS Rifles) boarded His Majesty's transport ship Saxonia along with soldiers of the 22nd Battalion (Quebec) and the 24th Battalion (Montreal). They sailed into an uncertain future and to make their mark in history as part of the Canadian Corps. On October 12, 1916, the 85th Battalion (NS Highlanders) boarded the Olympic along with the rest of Nova THE LAST STEPS MEMORIAL ARCH Halifax Nova Scotia

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