Introduction to Rememberance, or a Priceless Patriotism Primer

And the Kate McMillan mention from the last post reminds me that one of her guestbloggers over at SDA has his/her/its low-rent libertarian knickers in twist over the fact that Statscan charges for packages of data.  “Nothing like keeping vital information that would empirically disprove socialism away from the population,” says the Captain.  I’m no statistician, but it seems to me that that’s a lot for anybuddy to be able to read in the social, economic and cultural entrails collected by the government.

But I’m drifting from my point … which is that the Captain needs to be a little more reasonable.  For every annoying little (sur)charge the government makes you pay, there’re those gems they give out totally gratis.

Subsequent to the search comm meet, I did a little straightening up in the office.  To put several volumes of Epigraphia Indica back in their place, I had to pull down a pile of stuff stacked on the rest of the set. 

Now, some of you will recall my occasional hobby of copping internet freebies.  Piled up on EI were 3 fat binders and a couple of folders I received courtesy of Veterans Affairs Canada.  Just look here at all the stuff they’re willing to send (almost all of which I did request): binders and folders full of videos, dvds, posters, glossy brochures and instructions for educational activities.  Not only did they give me all this stuff for free, but they even paid the $14.32 postage (I haven’t done so much straightening up that I’ve recycled the box the stuff came in which arrived early Sept.)

And I’m NFSY, one of these things (aimed at Primary School children I presume) is called “Heroes and Poppies: An Introduction to Rememberance.”  I’ve checked all the packages and none of them includes intermediate rememberance or advanced rememberance.  Or rememberance, a multiple intelligences approach, though I guess that’s covered by the Learning Activity Idea, “Design a poster for the First or Second World War that you think would have encouraged young men and women to serve.”

And another example of the contents:


  • Aboriginal Canadians from every region of our country served in the Armed Forces during the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and in today’s Canadian Forces.

Learning Activity Ideas

  • Identify challenges you think Aboriginal Canadians would have faced during their service in the wars? [sic.]  How do you think they may have dealt with these challenges?

Ok,  since I’m an historian – kinda – since I’m an educator – a little more than kinda – and since I’m a proud Canadian – kinda … well, sorta – I guess I have to approve in principle of efforts to improve Canadians’ knowledge of our national history, even when it’s that dull grumpy old man in the Canadian history crowd that is military history. 

But the glossovers seem a little much: “Shortly after Japan’s entry into the Second World War, Japanese-Canadians were removed from the West Coast of Canada.  Those Japanese-Canadians who had already enlisted, however, fought abroad for Canada.”

Anyway, that thing is just the teaser for the kiddies.  The rest is bunches of stuff on Korea and the World Wars.  I think I’m going to pick it all up for bedtime reading.  Time to bone up on all that slaughter in a century worth of military misadventures under others’ commands.

Do you really suppose that any evil-of-big-government sorts are gunna object to programmes like this?  I doubt it.  If they do, it’d be ideological lipsevice at best.  (Well, unless the McKenna brothers write any of the material.)  Like I said, I received this material in early Sept. (post-marked 28.07.08 in any case).  I’m no Canadian historian, but I believe that that was before it was decided that Canadians, even within the military, ‘had no taste for extending the mission in Afghanistan’.  It was in a time when anyone who questioned government policy in Central Asia was regarded as ‘an agent of the Taliban’ and funding our troops and veterans had no price (though now we know it’s almost $20 billion and we plan to bail in any case).  This is altogether the kind of thing to make me hate big government, well some of them anyway.


1 Comment »

  1. jackrroo said

    I really don’t know if this forwards my argument or suggests that I’m off track. But the Ottawa Citizen reports, Sound knowledge of Canadian history may dampen pride.

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