Posted by Allie Wojtaszek on
The silence in this memorial hall is full of unspoken things… expressions of love, fear, hope, sorrow, pride, courage and freedom. The energies of an overwhelming gratitude; for sacrifices and for peace. It’s a sacred space designed for reflection.
The silence here is heavy, loud even; you can feel all of this swirling in the air around you like it is alive. It touched me, first on the outside as it prickled across my skin and then deep inside me. This room is so perfectly simple yet it is one of the most powerful spaces I have ever spent time in. It conveys everything that you expect it too and then so much more that I can’t do it justice with mere words. It is something that needs to be experienced. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Ottawa - the Canadian War Museum is amazing but you don’t need to pay for the museum to visit the Memorial Hall, it’s free to the public any time the building is open. For me it is the necessary compliment to a trip to visit the Unkown Soldier himself.
This room has a reflecting pool on one side of it beside a simple bench where you can sit and experience the silence. There is a single window, uniquey positioned so that on November 11th, at 11:00am (the precise moment the WWI ended in 1918), the sun shines through the window, a beam of light iluminating the grave marker of the Unknown Soldier.
Here is a video I took of the room while I was there.