Canadian War Heroes: Ten Profiles in Courage
Giancarlo La Giorgia
Lone Pine, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Theresa Ichino
t is fitting in this Year of the Veteran that we pay tribute to the often unappreciated members of our armed forces. As the author says, Canadians seem to have an ambivalent attitude towards our military: we are proud of their valour while we deplore their chosen careers.
a Giorgia pays tribute to historical figures, like Tecumseh and Laura Secord, as well as more modern examples of heroes, such as Georges-Philéas Vanier and Roméo Dallaire. He concludes with the entire Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Obviously, in such a small sampling, the author is unable to include everyone who should be mentioned; but the choices he made are interesting ones.
his little book (143 pages) gives a brief history or biography of the ten subjects, as well as editorial comments by the author. (Whether you share his opinions or not, he raises pertinent issues.) Though it's a brief introduction to complex figures, there is nonetheless enough to illuminate some who are too often little more than names in history texts. I did find the author's choice of words jarring sometimes, as he interjects slang into formal prose.
he profile of Sir Arthur Currie is one I found interesting. As a student at McGill University, I felt only a mild curiosity about the name on the building where I wrote my exams. After reading his story, I regret not pursuing that mild curiosity. The man well deserves his inclusion in this collection, as do the others chosen by the author. They deserve to be remembered with respect and gratitude, not dismissed as fusty bits of historical trivia.
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