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Rambo... Living- Up to- Standards...
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|Note: I just received this from a dear friend and as a Canadian who is PROUD TO BE CANADIAN, I pass it on to you. Know that if you received it, it means that I am thinking of you, even if you do not hear from me all the time. I have written this in red to support our troops both home and abroad, just as I wear red every Friday for the very same reason, whether at work or at home. It is a very well-written article, and as one whose father was a Canadian Army Peacekeeper, I am proud to send this on. Thank you, Tim, for forwarding this to me.
Subject: I'M PROUD TO SEND THIS ON
TRIBUTE TO CANADA
This is a good read - 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 last week of four Canadian soldiers accidentally killed by a U.S. warplane in Afghanistan, probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops were deployed in the region. And as always, Canada will now 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
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 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, its 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
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
un-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
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 week, four more
grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.
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