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#262926 - 01/14/08 03:40 PM Proud to be a Canadian, ay...
Amanda Syme Offline
one of the funniest t-shirts I ever remembered said:

"I'd rather say Ay than Huh"

But this isn't a thread about funny, goofy, witty or insulting t-shirts, it is a story about our peaceful, unobtrusive northern neighbours:

Sunday Telegraph Article from today's UK wires:
Salute to a brave and modest nation - Kevin Myers,
The Sunday Telegraph

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 compl ete 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 Nort h 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 populati on 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 attacks. 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 no 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 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 rece ived 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.

#262935 - 01/14/08 04:29 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: Amanda Syme]
seashell Offline
Thanks Amanda.

(wiping a tear)
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#262936 - 01/14/08 04:30 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: Amanda Syme]
Sun&sand Offline
As I've said before, I support ALL of the Troops, but am having a difficult time supporting the war. No parent should ever have to bury their children, especially if it is a result of a war over something as absurd as this one.
My heart and gratitude goes out to everyone who is making the sacrifice. God Bless them all!
Live so that when you arise in the A.M, Satan shudders & says..
'Oh sh t..she's awake!'

#262941 - 01/14/08 04:42 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: Sun&sand]
kwalkpt Offline
Over the years I have sat through many events in the states that ask for veterans to stand. My father would just sit and applaud. Then we were in Nova Scotia and they asked all veterans to stand. It was the first time my father, a Canadian, stood as a veteran and got the recognition that he deserved!

#262944 - 01/14/08 04:48 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: kwalkpt]
seashell Offline
sun&sand, while I certainly stand by the troops in Iraq too, this was about Canada's service in Afghanistan. I don't think the action there is absurd at all. That said, it deeply saddens me that we are losing our boys.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#262946 - 01/14/08 04:53 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: seashell]
Bobber Offline
And there are those of us in the States here that recognize our traditional friends (instead of just our current friends, or friends of opportunity), the Canadians. Too bad the media doesn't recognize their contributions (along with others). Believe me, they are not forgotten.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#262953 - 01/14/08 06:04 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: Bobber]
Sun&sand Offline
I agree, seashell, but don't want any of anyone's kids in the middle east, regardless of the circumstances. I want everyone's children at home, where it's comfortable, and they are loved. Oh, if it were only a perfect world.
Live so that when you arise in the A.M, Satan shudders & says..
'Oh sh t..she's awake!'

#262955 - 01/14/08 06:12 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: Bobber]
reaper Offline
Chris Karagiannis was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last June. He was a member of the Canadian "Skyhawks" Parachute Team that skydives around the world for exhibition jumps.
He jumped in Edmonton and was an instructor with Eden North Parachute Schools on his off time from military duties. He was a very good friend of the Skydive Belize staff.
Another of our skydive friends, Chris Thoombs, was wounded in Afghanistan last year and is recovered.
I just jumped with Steve Merry this weekend in Arizona. He is off to Afghanistan for his third tour of duty with the Canadian Military next month.
America and the world thank you...

#262957 - 01/14/08 06:23 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: reaper]
Sun&sand Offline
Amen, Reaper
Live so that when you arise in the A.M, Satan shudders & says..
'Oh sh t..she's awake!'

#262958 - 01/14/08 06:25 PM Re: Proud to be a Canadian, ay... [Re: reaper]
TacoBoy Offline
Canada has participated in every major conflict in the 20th and 21st century, up to and including the first Gulf war, Kosovo and Afganistan, except for the war in Vietnam and the last Gulf War.

Edited by TacoBoy (01/14/08 06:26 PM)
Edit Reason: dates

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