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I don't agree with everything stated in here (including the Canadian peacekeeping myth) but despite that and some elements of tone, I think this article identifies a generally positive sign if true.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081110.wmilitary1111/BNStory/National/homeWarriors once more, we struggle with what it means
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
November 10, 2008 at 11:29 PM EST
It is Remembrance Day. At cenotaphs, war memorials and in schools and civic squares across the country, what Canadians will be asked to remember Tuesday is as complex and contested as their own uncertain culture.
They find themselves living with the fascinating phenomenon of a military presence once hidden from sight on government instructions, now more visible than at any time in the past half century.
They are honouring the veterans and war dead of today and yesterday, and they line their nation's busiest highway along Lake Ontario – renamed the Highway of Heroes – to watch the hearses from Canadian Forces Base Trenton go by with military casualties from a foreign land.
They see soldiers honoured at hockey games. They see the Chief of the Defence Staff interviewed on television at Labour Day's Edmonton-Calgary football game, where the announcer talks about Canadian troops being in Afghanistan to “defend our way of life.”
They've seen almost every major civic government vote to allow Support Our Troops decals to be placed on emergency vehicles. They've seen their national government spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new war museum and restore the First World War's Vimy Memorial in France and push up armed-forces recruitment and buy new military hardware.
And being Canadian, they've melded a unique iconography with their new military consciousness, as Megan Boler of the University of Toronto's department of theory and policy studies discovered one day, explaining to her class how U.S. militarism is linked by so many Americans to the symbolism of their flag.
She said the icon of a flag didn't resonate with her students, whose notions of Canadian symbols were Tim Hortons and hockey.
Sure enough, the military pressured Tim Hortons to open an outlet at Afghanistan's Kandahar Air Field, where the bulk of Canadian troops are stationed, and a hockey-equipment manufacturer produced 5,000 sticks stamped with “Support Our Troops,” some of which were shipped to the soldiers.
As with everything about Canadian culture, what it all means can be an enigma. We've moved from the global warrior nation of two world wars to the peacekeepers of the Cold War and now … to what?
Has Canada over the past decade become a newly militaristic culture? Are we merely resurrecting something that's been long woven through our history? Or are we primarily reliving the distress the country went through nearly a century ago, resulting in the first Remembrance Day of Nov. 11, 1918: the grief over so many young deaths for which the rationale, then as now, was unclear.
The military's new visibility is a fact.
“When you see soldiers at airports and on the news all the time, and you see them at cultural events all the time,” said University of Lethbridge sociologist Trevor Harrison, “you start to perceive that this is normal, that this is the normal course of things that soldiers should always be around.
“For the longest period of time, most Canadians probably would not have thought in those terms, or that young people should be going off to fight.”
But referring to the football-game announcer's comment about troops defending the Canadian way of life in Afghanistan, Prof. Harrison said: “I thought how that phraseology is starting to escalate.”
University of Toronto historian Wesley Wark, a specialist in Canadian and international security issues, said the country has come a long way from the 1960s and ‘70s, when military personnel at defence headquarters in Ottawa were told not to wear their uniforms to work.
“The military had a very quiet presence in society. It wasn't very welcome. And historically they were in very isolated pockets.” No longer.
To military historian Allan English at Queen's University, the proliferation of Support Our Troops signs and vehicle decals – symbols borrowed from the United States – is not a glorification of the military.
It is, he said, “about trying to come to grips with death and loss that really can't be explained because there is no huge support for the war in Afghanistan among the Canadian public. But they still have to explain the deaths. All the tributes we see are to the fallen. The Highway of Heroes was created by Canadians standing on overpasses saluting. It wasn't a military initiative.”
Similarly, he said, “Canadians at the end of the First World War had a lot of trouble with the rationale for the war, but they had to confront the deaths. So there was the creation of Remembrance Day, and the creation of the poppy. And they came to the same solution [as today]: to characterize the fallen as heroes.”