After being in Calgary for several days, we dropped by the Museum of the Regiments, which honors and recognizes those Canadians who served in the two Great Wars and all conflicts since. Although Canada produced many regiments over the years they rarely ever saw action under their own command, being meshed into British Divisions in most cases. There were infantry, mechanized and armored regiments and for a short period of time an airborne regiment. The museum employed the services of a movie set construction company to present many life-size combat dioramas. When mixed with the proper amount of sound and light, it is a chilling scene that presents itself to the audience. Like all of us, we found out the set creators were human. It seems that there is a "glaring" error on one of the dioramas. It took the acting director of the museum to point it out to me. They showed a wall that was supposed to be in a European town, which was complete with address. However, they failed to put the horizontal bar through the 7 as they would do in Europe. The Director said that after it was discovered, they decided to leave it there, because the people who come to visit seem to get such a kick out of "finding" the mistake and pointing it out to them. Like all good dioramas, the use of barriers between the audience and the action is reduced to a minimum. No glass or sealed off areas Everything is right in front of you, until you lean way over to get that perfect shot and set off the motion detectors that are hidden parallel to the scene. Canada has played an ever increasing role in the world peace keeping requirements, having served in most of the theaters of unrest over the last several decades. As part of NATO, this roll has widened to encompass more and more activities. Their reputation for a fair and unbiased approach along with their lack of involvement in political affairs of problem countries has earned them a title roll in peace keeping. Taking a seat in the small amphitheater outside the front door, we were treated to several skits performed by the museum cadets, depicting actions taken by peacekeepers in their day to day duties. Some were amusing and some were sad. In each case it became more and more clear that the duties of these men and women were difficult and dangerous. This was followed by the Rocky Mountain Cadet Pipe Band who played several stirring renditions on the pipes. There is a common saying when it comes to the bag pipe. You either like them or you hate them, there is no middle ground. We both happen to like them. After this, several more cadet bands marched in, and a new experience presented itself. I had never seen a performance in which bag pipes and other band instruments were played together. It created an all new sound which was most pleasing. We were treated to yet another first for us. A drum solo by the Rocky Mountain Pipe Band. This was more than just a catchy rhythm. Hand and body movement in synchronization using the most subtle of movements created quite a stir in the audience. These kids were really good. By the way, admission to the museum is by donation only. Their website is: http://www.museumoftheregiments.ca/main/.
*** THE END ***