As a nation Canada was born in the bloody field of the Western Front but its attitude to war has long been more complex than that of Britain or many other nations. The meaning of the Vimy Memorial for Canadians has in recent years undergone a subtle transformation. It has come ‘to symbolize Canada's long commitment to peace in the world, as well as its stand against aggression, and for liberty and the rule of international law. The Canadian tradition of asking its servicemen and women to defend and restore peace has evolved into a long commitment of peacekeeping under the aegis of the United Nations. To date, Canada has contributed some 80,000 troops to more than 30 peacekeeping operations.‘
Of course these are just words which many nation’s copywriters could cobble together but Canada has renounced nuclear weapons and is a stronger supporter of the UN than most. It does not do to overstate the case but it is worth noting that not everyone learns the same ‘lessons’ from war.