A different type of white guilt
A comment on the Globe and Mail website on this article about Ancestry.ca's big blunder got me thinking:
Call it a Remembrance Day story that a leading genealogy website would rather not remember.
To honour the memory of the Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War, Ancestry.ca was offering, until the end of the month, a free Web search of military databases that contained the records of this country's soldiers.
A half-page ad that ran in a Toronto newspaper on Sunday, adorned with a large red poppy, was titled "My Grandfather. My Hero," with details of how to do the search.
But the colour ad featured a photograph of a German, not an Allied soldier, a blunder that angered some veterans and historians.
K Ordos from Canada writes: Didn't German soldiers die too? Don't forget it was the German Government who started WWII, not the troops. The soldiers were doing the same job as ours were. Fight and die if necessary. I think Remembrance day should be recognized for all the troops, regardless of nationality who have died in conflict. A Soldier is a Soldier. End of story.
I have been embarrassed about my heritage sometimes. I distinctly remember a project in grade-school where the school was submitting names of family members of students and staff that died in WWI or WWII. I remember asking my parents about our family members and I submitted two names. I didn't know at the time that one of the names submitted was actually for the "other side." Perhaps I was too young to talk about it. Perhaps my family was embarrassed to have to explain it. This doesn't stop me from proudly celebrating Remembrance day each year as I also have a line of Canadian Forces family members from both maternal and paternal sides and also served in the Army Cadets myself. I've learned to live with my history and heritage.