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Homecoming

Welcome Home badge and bibbonThe Second World War ended in August 1945. It was a tumultuous time; Albertans experienced a heady mixture of euphoria and great sorrow.

Loved ones, absent from home for several years returned to joyous homecomings and reunions. Many of these same Alberta families had suffered loses and experienced great sorrow. Thousands had perished during the war leaving empty chairs and vacant spaces in households—constant reminders of those who would never return home.

Some Alberta communities experienced unparalleled growth and development after the war. Industries were converted from military to civilian production to meet the public’s pent up demand for goods that had not been available for many years. This new economic activity brought jobs and opportunities to these Alberta communities.
Other communities did not fare so well after the war; they struggled as military personnel departed and bases and associated businesses closed. For these towns and cities difficult times lay ahead.

Returned from Active ServiceThe silent cost of war affected Albertans in different ways. The members of Alberta’s ethnic communities who had been treated with distrust questioned what the future held for them within Alberta society. Women, leaders, workers and nurturers during the war, found themselves being forced to revert to their “traditional” roles as the men returned from the front. They asked, “Who are we now?” And Canada’s military personnel faced the daunting challenge of reconciling what they had witnessed and taken part in during their service overseas with the “normality” of civilian life on the homefront

Homecoming gallery

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            For more on Alberta during World War II, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
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