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Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am a proud Canadian and....

-next week is the Canadian Remembrance day -- 

 Lest we Forget 

  It is funny
 how it took someone in England to put it into words......
 Salute to a brave and modest nation - Kevin Myers , 'The Sunday
 Telegraph'LONDON :

 Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan , probably
 almost no one outside their home country had been aware that
 Canadian troops
 are deployed in the region.

 And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of
 the world, as
 always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly
 everything Canada ever does.. It seems that Canada 's historic
 mission is to
 come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete
 strangers, and
 then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.

 Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of
 the hall,
waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire
 breaks out, she
 suffers serious
 injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes,
 there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped
 glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American
continent with the United States , and for being a selfless friend of Britain
 in two global conflicts.

 For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions one foot in 
the old world and an address in the new one,
 and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the
 gratitude it deserved.

 Yet it's purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom
 in two world
 wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of
 Canada 's entire population of seven million people served in the armed
 forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied
 victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers
 in the entire British order of battle.

 Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright
 neglect, it's unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular
 memory as somehow or other the work of the 'British.'
 The Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began
 the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the
 Atlanticagainst U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships
 participated in the
 Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went
 ashore on D-Day alone.

 Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the
 fourth largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime
 indifference as it had the previous time.
 Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only
 if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in
 which the United States had clearly not participated - a touching scrupulousness
 which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a
 separateCanadian identity.

 So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in
 Hollywood keep their nationality - unless, that is, they are
 Canadian. Thus Mary
 Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox,
 William Shatner,
 Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter,
 Mike Weir and
 Dan Aykroyd Michael Buble, Justin Bieber have in the popular perception become American, and
 ChristopherPlummer, British.

 It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian
 ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably
 Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable
 to find any takers.

> Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the
 achievements of
 its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely
 unaware ofthem. The Canadians proudly say of themselves - and are unheard by
 anyone else - that 1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the
 world'speacekeeping forces.

 Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest
peacekeepers on Earth - in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six
 on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

 Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-
 Canadianimagination was the sorry affair in Somalia , in which
 out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment
 was then disbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian act of self-
 abasement for which,
 naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

 So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless
 friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan?
 Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac , Canada repeatedly does honourable things
 for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it
 remainssomething of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way, for
 which Canadians
 should be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past
 year more
 grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

  Lest we forget


PEA said...

Thank you for posting a fellow Canadian I agree with everything written here, we are forever being ignored and it truly is no wonder that our allies on the other side of the border have no clue what and who we truly are!!

Happy Remembrance Day to you and yours. xo

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Pat new member from the Kabin.I 100% agree with you where the conflicts are Dad god bless him always said that Canada along with Australia where the first to help ..God Bless You ALLxx said...

As an American, I truly appreciated this writing. It is so true that Canadians do not get the credit they deserve. Fortunately for me, I have Canadian relatives or all that might have gone over my head too. As the old joke goes, "wait til you see the loud-mouthed b------- on the other side." It is to your credit and the Americans disgrace. But fret not, they don't even recognize what their own servicemen and women have done; Veterans' Day will only be celebrated by the govt employees.
All the best to your and those you love.