The Canadian news media has been highlighting the Battle of Vimy Ridge of April 1917 for the past week. Many commentators claim that this was the defining moment of Canadian identification. Perhaps so. For this is about the time when Filip Konowal was earning his Victoria Cross and 6000 or so Ukrainians were languishing in 26 concentration camps scattered across Canada courtesy of "British Empire loyalists" implementing the War Measures Act.
Please remember that the inhabitants of Canada at that time were "British subjects" and remained so until the passage of the Citizenship Act of Canada on Feb. 16, 1947. Perhaps that explains why Canadian politicians and elite are so reluctant to apologize for and provide restitution to the victims of the WWI internment operations -- even some 90 years after the fact.
Let us hope that these commemorations do not contribute to the "glorification of war" in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other areas of the world.
Will Zuzak; 2007.04.07
[W.Z. This letter was submitted to, but not published in, the Edmonton Journal.]