Friday, March 23, 2007

First World War in Canadian News

Support for my contention that the First World War still has very powerful resonancy in Canada today comes from two recent news stories.

In one, DNA evidence has solved the mystery of a Vimy Ridge soldier.
EDMONTON — Doreen Bargholz's family rarely talked about her uncle, Private Herbert Peterson.
His parents and five brothers were heartbroken when the 22-year-old soldier from rural Alberta never returned from the muddy French battlefields of the First World War. The military told them he had gone missing, and was presumed dead.
"There was a big photo of him hanging in my grandparents' living room. That's how I knew him," the 78-year-old Ms. Bargholz said in an interview.
But thanks to hard work by a team of Canadian scientists, genealogists and Defence Department historians and officials, the private's body was recovered in 2003 and identified earlier this year.
Next, is a story from the Toronto Globe and Mail concerning ongoing argument over the legitimacy of the maple-leaf Canadian flag (accused of being a partisan Liberal-party product) versus the traditional Red Ensign (supported vigorously by Canadian veterans.)

[A blog dedicated to these type of topics is here.]

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has requested the Red Ensign flag fly at Vimy Ridge ceremonies next month, The Globe and Mail has learned.
Mr. Harper told his cabinet ministers yesterday that he wanted both the Red Ensign and the Maple Leaf hoisted in Vimy, France, at the 90th anniversary of the First World War battle, sources close to the Prime Minister said. "He said, 'The Red Ensign of 1917 will fly over Vimy,' " one source told The Globe.
The decision was hailed as a victory by veterans' groups and advocates, who have been lobbying Ottawa to have the historical ensign displayed over the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

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