The Pacific Combat Zone at the museum is a key attraction. Reading about it in my guidebook, I considered giving it a pass, as the author enthused about how ‘cool’ it was. Call me a curmudgeon, but I sometimes think that all of our action movies and war games are a little ghastly—and more than once I’ve gone to a war museum only to be disturbed by the level of schadenfruede. But on the one hand, I think the spectacle of war is undeniable—so perhaps it’s best to confront it. And on the other, I feel like I was left with a much deeper understanding of the tough fight we faced, especially in the Pacific, which I think is a less familiar theatre of war in general, and particularly for Canadians.
Our tour guide was simply amazing, bringing to life the machinery that was hulked down before us. The museum occasionally hosts reenactments, and even has a video or two on YouTube. (You can find a calendar at the Museum’s website, here).