Last November, Ontario unveiled a war memorial outside Queen’s Park. The monument, says Premier McGuinty, “[reminds us] of the heroism, bravery and sacrifice of our veterans and the protection of the freedoms we have today”. Along the side of the monument is a list of the conflicts where Canadian veterans have been involved. Skimming down I read World War 1… Korean War… Afghanistan…Campaign Against Terror… huh?*
As far as I’m aware, Canada is not (officially) in any so-called Campaign Against Terror. (Note they chose to use the term “Campaign” rather than “War”. Presumably this is to soften the language to make it more digestible.). Further, veterans have not been involved in any such conflict. Afghanistan is mentioned separately from the Campaign, so it would be difficult to argue that the Campaign is a term that includes Afghanistan.
I don’t think I’d be alone in suggesting that listing the Campaign as a conflict in which veterans have made sacrifices is insulting, particularly to those who served in real (rather than phantom) conflicts.
* Many of the other wars listed (e.g., Riel Rebellion) seem bizarre and incredibly arbitrary. If a reader knows why these were selected, please post a comment.