Skip to comments.Harper marks 100th anniversary of the First World War, critical conflict in Canadian history
Posted on 08/04/2014 3:04:43 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
OTTAWA Prime Minister Stephen Harper marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War on Monday, crediting the conflict, despite its terrible loss of life, as an essential part of Canadas development as a nation.
Amid the appalling loss, by any measure, Canada as a truly independent country was forged in the fires of the First World War, Harper told a military crowd gathered at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
Canadas involvement in the war began a century ago when Britain declared war against Germany. The First World War became a critical turning point for a country not even 50 years old when the conflict erupted in Europe.
Canadian battlefield triumphs in Ypres, Vimy and Passchendaele spurred a deep sense of national pride and a belief that Canada could stand on its own, separate from Britain, on the international stage.
The conflict also saw Canada supporting allies whose sovereignty and very existence were threatened, Harper said, adding Canadians still do so.
It is why today, we stand once again beside friends and allies whose sovereignty, whose territorial integrity indeed, whose very freedoms and existence are still at risk, Harper said in a veiled reference to Canadas tough stands in support of Ukraine and Israel.
Nothing has changed. For our Canada is still loyal to our friends, unyielding to our foes, honourable in our dealings, and courageous in our undertakings. This remains the character of our country.
Harper also announced the expansion of the honour guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill. Sentries will now be stationed there from April 9, the Vimy Ridge anniversary, until Nov. 11, Remembrance Day.
(Excerpt) Read more at ww1.canada.com ...
Harper commemorates 100th anniversary of WWI - August 4, 2014 - Our commitment to values has never wavered, he told the crowd at the Canadian War Museum, referring to Canadas heavy contribution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
That's why we intervened after September 11, 2001, when freedom fighters attacked the terrorists who seek to destroy us, he said.
And it is why today, we stand once again beside friends and allies whose sovereignty, whose territorial integrity indeed, whose very freedoms and existence are still at risk....
Amid the appalling loss, by any measure, Canada as a truly independent country was forged in the fires of the First World War,
It wasn’t independent. It was automatically expected to come to the aide of their “king-emperor” in Britain.
There was no Canadian army like an American one. They were just part of the British Imperial army. No different than the Indians, Africans, Australians, or Asians.
I get what Canadians say when they talk about this, but I don’t know why they keep trying to phrase it like they totally got into the war independently for some high-minded idea, or that they became an independent nation in the process because they basically did the same thing again in 1939, just waiting a couple of days to make it seem like they weren’t sure.
Not to take away from their efforts, I just never get their habit of straddling the line between saying they are an independent nation and being the only place on Earth that really wants to still be part of the British Empire.
You could be right about 1914 and 1939. But I don't think very many Canadians are that keen on the British Empire or Commonwealth nowadays. Historically they're a part of it, but for all intents and purposes, they're an independent country and have been for at least a generation or two.
given the casualties for the little gain, i hardly consider them victories. than again the pommie bastard generals were utterly incompetent on the western front.
In the interwar years Canada gained control over its foreign affairs. In WWII, the Canadian army, navy and air force units were fully independent with Canadian officers in command.
When Canada adopted a new flag in the 1960's, they made it pretty clear they no longer considered themselves part of the British Empire, a term that already fallen out of usage.
Vimy Ridge was what made Canada come into its own. The entire operation was conceived, planned and executed by Canadians using Canadian-designed tactic (creeping barrage) after the British and French had already failed to take the objective. It led to the Statute of Westminster which gave us (along with Ireland, Australia, NZ, etc.) full independence in defence, foreign policy and Royal Succession (Canada’s Parliament had to ratify the accession of George V following Edward’s abdication).
You're right. We got in when the SHTF, not years later.
Yeah to protect the 2% of “plucky little Belgium” that the Germans didn’t overrun because the U.K. treaty-obligated you guys to protect it. :)
Odd that we can thank that arrogant , self absorbed Sam Hughes for helping to keep the CEF from being adsorbed by the British Army . Later Gen. Arthur Currie actually refused orders from Haig to attack Passchendaele , waiting until he was ready .
It was under Currie that the Canadians made their reputation as an elite assault force , with an unbroken string of major victories in 1917-1918.