Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Proud to be Canadian

This is a bit of a long read, but well worth it! Like it says in the article it is amazing it has taken a person from out side of our country to recognize the fact of how valuable we are in this country. I know at times we are the laughing stock of the world, and you know that is alright. At the end of the day we can stand with our heads up and be proud of who and what we are!

From the 400lb Gorilla

A British newspaper salutes Canada. This is a good read. It is funny

how it took someone in England to put it into words.

Sunday Telegraph Article: 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 risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and 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


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: it seemed to be a part of the old world, yet

had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it

never fully got the gratitude it deserved. Yet its 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

Atlantic against 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 separate Canadian 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

and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and

Christopher Plummer, 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....

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements

of it's sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely

unaware of them. 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's peacekeeping 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 on-Canadian

imagination 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 remains

something 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.


Please pass this on to any friends or relatives who served in the

Canadian Forces or anyone who is proud to be Canadian; it is a wonderful

tribute to those who choose to serve their country and the world in the

quiet Canadian way.

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