The majority of Canadians will be celebrating Canada Day and the creation of our country. Lost on the majority of the population is that July 1st also marks a day of great sacrifice. On this day in 1916 eight hundred and one of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment went over the top at Beaumont-Hamel. The following following morning only sixty-nine answered the regimental roll call. Since 1916 Newfoundland has born the weight of this sacrifice on their own. Since 1949 it has been the responsibility of Canadians to remember these men as some of the great fathers of our country. While they are the brunt of many jokes, Newfoundlanders have a resilience that is characterized by the fact over one percent of it’s youth left their homes, country and continent to fight in WWI and sacrifice their lives or their health.
While we celebrate Canada’s birthday and the many things we have to be thankful for, we cannot forget to stop and thank the strong, the brave and the selfless who have helped…even if they weren’t Canadians at the time.
“It was a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour, and its assault only failed of success because dead men can advance no further.” Major-General Sir Beauvoir de Lisle (commander, British 29th Division) regarding the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel.