Blood from Vimy Ridge, martyred apostles remind us of our covenant


Catholic Register, 27 July 2017

OTTAWA – On the main route travelled by the Prince of Wales from Rideau Hall toward the teepee on Parliament Hill for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations at the beginning of July, it was notable that the banners flying from the light standards were not for Canada 150, but for the centennial of Vimy Ridge. Looked upon with biblical eyes, it was a reminder that covenants have to be ratified, to be paid for as it were, and the payment is in blood.

The Dominion of Canada came into existence as a legal reality on July 1, 1867. A new country had been established. But the passage of a law does not an identity create, or a nation fashion. Canada existed by decree of the imperial Parliament in London, but did Canadians exist, too?

It is generally agreed that Canada “came of age” — became a real country one might say — in the Great War. At the outset of the war in 1914, Canada went to war when Britain did, and because Britain did. The decision, even if enthusiastically supported across the Dominion — or at least, the English-speaking parts — was not a homegrown one.

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