19 August 2015

#12 Between Friends?

I think we have established by now how I feel about war and the glorification of war. I do recognize that is has a place in our history (and in the pre-history of the country of Canada, that is, before 1867), but it doesn't and shouldn't have all the place.

2012 was a year that marked the bicentennary of a war between the British and their former colonies, the USA. It also marked the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Care to take a guess at what was deemed by the current government to be worthy of commemorating and celebrating? That's right, the War of 1812.

Ah, the pomp and pageantry of old-timey uniforms and weapons like muskets wielded by men who were taught to stand in formations and shoot at each other until the guy on the horse decided it was time for tea. There is the “burning of the White House” story that is a staple in the Canadian telling of it that does not so much figure in the American accounts of the same history. There is the story of Laura Secord, bravely herding her cows across enemy lines and sharing information on the US troop movements and plans (we remember her by selling chocolate).

The real story is what came after. How did two countries overcome such hostility to become such close allies? While I am asking that question for the USA and Great Britain (Canada didn't come into independent existence until 55 years later), I think that might be a worthy bit of history about and from which to learn.

But I guess it is better to celebrate your glorious, if disputed, victory over your friend than the many years of friendship that have ensued.

Further reading here

Many years ago
we fought. Let us remember
that and not the peace

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