My US readers should appreciate learning more about the sacrifices of Canadian troops:
“At Vimy Ridge in April 1917, in just four days of fighting, 3,598 Canadians were killed. Another 7,004 were wounded, meaning that nearly a quarter of our soldiers there became casualties in less than 96 hours of fighting.
“During October and November 1944, nearly 1,900 Canadians died in less than four weeks clearing the Scheldt Estuary so the Allies could use the Belgian port of Antwerp to land men and supplies much nearer the battlefields of northwest Europe. Antwerp was hundreds of kilometres closer and capable of unloading far more cargo than the temporary ports built in Normandy following D-Day.
“During one three-day assault in the Scheldt, to gain just 1,200 metres of soggy beet fields, Montreal’s Black Watch Regiment lost every one of its company commanders, and one company saw 86 of its 90 officers and men killed or wounded…”
If you watch UK and Canadian correspondents on US cable news, you might have noticed them wearing poppies on their lapels this time of year. Here is why. (Yes, incredibly, Canada really does have a War Museum.)
What we don’t have, however, is a massive entertainment infrastructure like the one in the US, so the incredible stories of Canadian military bravery haven’t been immortalized on TV and film. There is no Canadian Saving Private Ryan, so you and the rest of the world don’t know their stories.
Stories like this one, which might be called The Last of the Ojibwa:
“Every man of fighting age in this Ojibwa reserve volunteered for World War II.
“Every single one. Fifty men.
The story of Private Leo Major would be a great movie too — he singlehandedly (and singled-eyed — he’d lost the other after Normandy but refused to go home) convinced 93 Nazis in Holland to surrender, having ingeniously convinced them they were outnumbered by (imaginary) Canadian soldiers.
PS: Yesterday, Arnie visited the DDayWear.com booth at the Royal Winter Fair and purchased some nice gifts. $5 from each purchase helps “provide every soldier that fell June 6, 1944, a name plaque at the [Juno Beach] memorial.” Cool stuff!