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Subject: "For My Canadian friends !!" Previous topic | Next topic
81 NewbeeWed Apr-29-09 04:48 AM
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"For My Canadian friends !!"


  

          

Subject: Fw: British newspaper article-re Canada�
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 From today's UK wires:


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 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: 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 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 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, 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 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 non-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.

Lest we forget.


*********************

81 Newbee

  

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jazz4freeWed Apr-29-09 06:31 AM
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#1. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to 81 Newbee (Reply # 0)


  

          

Thanks, John.

  

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EdGreeneWed Apr-29-09 10:36 AM
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#2. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to 81 Newbee (Reply # 0)


          

Quote:
QUOTE:
Subject: Fw: British newspaper article-re Canada�
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 From today's UK wires:


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.

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.


All that being true, Canada has lived in the protective shadow of the United States. No one on their right mind would dare threaten Canada with the US standing guard.
While Canada's "shared" border is protective, it also provides a huge resevoir of cash to Canada for Canada's imports.

Quote:
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.'


I'm happy the article excoriates the British.

Quote:
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.


They CHOSE to work here and "lost" their Canadian identity for the dollars Hollywood pays them. It is up to them to say what they are.
*I am reminded that many former Canadian actors become Americans.


  

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Dave101Wed Apr-29-09 10:43 AM
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#3. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to 81 Newbee (Reply # 0)


  

          

Thanks.

Dave101

"The only goddamn thing you know about the law is how to break it." Chief Lafleche

  

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Dave101Wed Apr-29-09 10:52 AM
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#4. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to EdGreene (Reply # 2)


  

          

Quote:
All that being true, Canada has lived in the protective shadow of the United States. No one on their right mind would dare threaten Canada with the US standing guard.


Even with the US standing guard or sleeping at it's post, Canada will defend herself.

Dave101

"The only goddamn thing you know about the law is how to break it." Chief Lafleche

  

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OldRayWed Apr-29-09 11:03 AM
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#5. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to 81 Newbee (Reply # 0)


          

Here in the U.S., we are pretty much ignorant about Canada. When our daughter married a Canadian (B.C.), I finally read a history of Canada. I had no idea of their truly interesting and complex history. Since then, we've made a couple of visits to his family (Chilliwack, B.C.), what a beautiful area!

Among other events, it was a close call as to whether B.C. joined Canada or the U.S. Only by promising to build a trans-continental railroad which they did not have the money to build, did Upper and Lower Canada persuade B.C. to join them.

I am of the feeling that Canada, as we know it, is not cast in stone; there are a lot of centrifugal political forces at work.

God bless our Canadian neighbors!

Ray

  

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Paul DWed Apr-29-09 04:50 PM
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#6. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to 81 Newbee (Reply # 0)
Wed Apr-29-09 04:52 PM by Paul D

  

          

A good post, and a very good article.

And a large proportion of it would apply equally well to Australia.

How many are aware that Australian soldiers have also died in Afghanistan?



Paul D

  

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81 NewbeeWed Apr-29-09 06:27 PM
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#7. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to Paul D (Reply # 6)


  

          

AMEN !!!!

81 Newbee

  

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npmclThu Apr-30-09 08:47 AM
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#8. "RE: For My Canadian friends !!"
In response to 81 Newbee (Reply # 0)


  

          

Well, I'm pleased that at least it was a British writer who wrote the article in a British newspaper.

However I have to say that I was aware of the part played by Canadian troops in WWI, WWII and in more recent wars but maybe that's because I'm older and also remember visiting a Canadian WWI cemetery in Europe many years ago.

  

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