Are Canadians forgetting their history?

Last week was the commemoration of the battle of Vimy Ridge one of the most defining moments in Canadian history. As public figures and politicians issued statements on the significance of the event. Anecdotal evidence

shows that the actual memory of the battle is fading from Canadians memories. To that end, Ipsos released a poll that showed a majority of Canadians could not recognize the Vimy Memorial.

The monument at Vimy Ridge is featured on both the $20 bill and the $2 coin, and yet 70% of those polled were unwilling to even hazard a guess, saying that they ‘didn’t know’ the distinctive shape of the Vimy Memorial, one of Canada’s great examples of public art. Others thought that the monument represented the Twin Towers / World Trade Centre (3%), the Washington Monument (1%), or unspecified mentions of memorials to the First World War (>0%), Second World War (1%), or war memorials in general (3%).

One the most concerning parts of the study has to be that millennial’s recognition of the monument plummets to 13%. Because they are the future of remembrance and to see these alarmingly low numbers is concerning just a year after the Centennial remembrance. To turn these numbers around, I would love to see more of a focus for students in high school on key dates in Canada’s military history. Finally, if we do not remember our history. How can we honour the past?

Battle of Vimy Ridge at 100

Today we pause, reflect and commemorate those who made the supreme sacrifice. Vimy Ridge is not only a battle in a war but it is a defining day in Canada’s Nationhood.

Below is a video statement by the leader of the opposition Rona Ambrose on the historical significance of the battle of Vimy Ridge.

Sir John A Macdonald

Today would have been not only the 202nd birthday of Sir John A.McDonald. Also, This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation that McDonald was indispensable in bringing about. As historian Arthur Milnes argued in a column that ran in many Postmedia papers today, there would be no Confederation without McDonald…nor
his importance ever be underestimated.

“If we do not take advantage of the time,” he thundered in the lead-up to Confederation in 1867, “if we should ourselves be unequal to the occasion, it may never return. And we shall hereafter bitterly and unavailingly regret having failed to embrace the happy opportunity of founding a great nation.”

And found a great nation — now at the dawn of her 150th year — Macdonald of Kingston did. What began as an experiment in federalism that brought — forced might be a better word — peoples of often-warring European languages, religions, and cultures together is now the envy of the world.

Millions of people have found safety and opportunity in Sir John A.’s Canada and we stand today as a member of the G8, a charter member of the United Nations and a land of tolerance, understanding and inclusion respected and admired everywhere.

Many conservatives and a Canadians should raise a glass for his many accomplishments and contributions to the countries mosaic.