Monday, September 21, 2009

The Dead of 1759

Andrew Smith makes the case for remembering the dead of 1759 in this year's Remembrance Day ceremonies at the War Memorial in Ottawa.

Andrew's well worth a read. But the dead of 1759 who continue to resonate for me are the townspeople killed as their houses crumbled under shellfire during the siege of Quebec, the civilians shot down in skirmishes with the British, the militia who died in their thousands during the whole of the war, even the elderly and the children who died of malnutrition and fevers during the grim winters of that struggle. And that's not to mention the Acadians, the people of Louisbourg, ....

I once guessed -- it's in the Illustrated History of Canada -- there may have been 6000 or 7000 Canadian casualties during the Seven Years War. And that would have been a tenth of the population of New France. No Canadian population ever had such an experience before or since.

War on our own soil, around our own homes, is something Canadians have been spared for a very long time. It would be too bad if our understanding of that became caught up in honouring a French and a British general -- or wrangling whether to honour them. Could we not honour an unknown soldier of the Canadian War of the Conquest?

Update: Andrew replies.
Follow @CmedMoore