Nic Clarke The Battle of Vimy Ridge (9-12 April 1917) is held by many Canadians as a pivotal moment in the formation of a distinct Canadian identity, and, indeed, Canada’s transformation from British dominion to independent state. At first glance this belief is not hard to understand. Fighting together for the first time, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps… Read more »
By Sarah Glassford “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. -from “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley I cannot think about the politics of commemoration without remembering a famous poem I read in one of my undergraduate English courses. In “Ozymandias,” Romantic poet Percy Shelley reflects upon the transience of… Read more »
While history strives to uncover the many voices that make up the chorus of years gone by, heritage simply gives a platform to the voice that yells the loudest. And therein lies both its appeal and its shortcomings. If history is messy, heritage is clean; if history is difficult, heritage is easy.
By Nathan Smith In a recent post here Jonathan Weier compared official plans in the UK and Australia to commemorate the First World War centennial with the Canadian government’s disengagement with the one-hundredth anniversary of the First World War. Given the interest the federal Conservatives have shown in warrior nationalism and war commemoration, this is surprising. From the government’s memorialization… Read more »
By Krista McCracken Museums, galleries, parks and other heritage sites play a significant role in commemoration. Exhibitions present specific ways of looking at history and attribute significance to particular historical events. Commemoration at heritage sites might take place in the form of a dedicated memorial site such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum or the September 11th Memorial and… Read more »
By Kaitlin Wainwright In November 2012, the Canadian government unveiled three plaques and a bronze statue of a dog in Ottawa’s Confederation Park, adjacent to the South African War Memorial. These were the first commemorative efforts in Canada in 75 years that foregrounded the role of animals in war. The environment is, at best, an emerging theme in Canadian military… Read more »
Today I write this on 12 September 2010, one day after 11 September 2010, and 9 years after 11 September 2001. In the midst of my first year of living in New York City, this date has caused me special occasion to pause and to take note of the nine year anniversary as I get to know the neighbourhoods and… Read more »