As I sat here on a rainy afternoon with my two Hounds from Hell curled up dozing on the couch beside me I recalled a post I wrote back in 2014. It was a short photo essay on a recent monument in Centennial Park in Ottawa remembering the oft unremembered animals that perished serving Canada’s war efforts over the past century or more.
I had only seen one other monument that acknowledged those causalities in London back in 2010 and wrote about at that time.
Remembrance Day is a time to bring to mind all creatures, great and small, that gave everything.
Though the first shots were fired on July 28, 1914 the declarations of a war that was to bring about the downfall of four Imperial powers, change the map of Europe and destroy the lives of millions were not issued until August 3 and 4th. Until that point the tensions that had arisen from the entirely serendipitous assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie had been more like a family squabble than the prologue to a devastating war that would resound into our current century. It was only going to last a few weeks but by November of the same year the editor of the Canadian magazine Maclean’s wrote, “Some wars name themselves. This is the Great War.”
As a nation Canada’s first overseas war had been the Second South African War (the Boer War) in 1899; Canada sent troops but the country was bitterly divided along political…
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