OUR ARMY: BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE

Regina Leader-Post - - OPINION -

This ed­i­to­rial orig­i­nally ap­peared in the Regina Daily Post, one of the fore­run­ners to the Leader-post, on Nov. 12, 1918, un­der the head­line Where Credit Is Due. We are shar­ing it to­day to show how one news­pa­per marked the end of the First World War.

To Cana­di­ans, there is one place to award credit for the event of yes­ter­day, the sign­ing of the ar­mistice which an­nounced to the world the com­plete and un­qual­i­fied sur­ren­der of the Ger­man na­tion to the vic­to­ri­ous Al­lies.

The credit goes to the Cana­dian sol­diers. That is not to with­hold from the French, Bri­tish, Amer­i­cans and Ital­ians, the credit which is due to them. Each of the Al­lies pro­duced an army of which it may well be proud in pro­por­tion to its na­tional strength.

But to Cana­di­ans, the army which fought and won the war was the Cana­dian army.

The Cana­dian army was the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of this na­tion in the bat­tle-line. It is the army to which our grat­i­tude and our praise must be awarded. We can re­joice with Great Bri­tain in her mighty achieve­ments; with France in the un­con­quer­able courage and de­vo­tion of her poilus; with Amer­ica in the fact that the van­guard of her army was the force which turned the ta­bles and gave the Al­lies the su­pe­ri­or­ity in re­serves which en­abled them to strike so freely and tri­umphantly. Yet our army was the Cana­dian army, and an in­com­pa­ra­ble army it was — the bravest of the brave, skil­ful and ef­fec­tive fight­ing units.

Our army! Here’s to it! They held the line at Ypres and “saved the day.” Lange­marck,

St. Julien, the Somme, Vimy, Lens, Pass­chen­daele, Amiens, Ar­ras, Queant — the tale of their vic­to­ries is al­most a his­tory of the war. Un­beat­able in de­fence, in­com­pa­ra­ble in at­tack, dogged and plucky as the Bri­tish, fierce and sav­age in at­tack as the French — Foch’s Pets they called them and they earned the name!

Forty-odd thou­sand of them laid down their lives, and thou­sands more sus­tained in­juries which will crip­ple them for life. But those who gave their lives gave them as will­ing sac­ri­fices in the cause which has tri­umphed, and those who will be with us crip­pled through the years of their life it shall be the coun­try’s duty to care for and keep from want of suf­fer­ing.

All the honor we can pay, all the re­ward we can give, is none too much for the men who have won for Canada such a proud place in the hour of Vic­tory. Their coun­try will be ever in their debt, give them what it will.

Our in­dus­trial work­ers, who kept the flood of shells mov­ing to­ward the front; our farm­ers, who helped so well to feed the Al­lies and the troops; our fi­nanciers and the peo­ple them­selves, who kept the money pour­ing out to ex­tin­guish the con­fla­gra­tion in Eu­rope; the women of Canada, who worked with heart and soul in the cause of the Red Cross and other pa­tri­otic works; the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and states­men; the whole peo­ple of the Do­min­ion, in­deed, are en­ti­tled to credit for their achieve­ments; but over all, over­shad­ow­ing ev­ery­thing, ren­der­ing the ef­forts of the peo­ple at home al­most in­signif­i­cant in the com­par­i­son, is the work of the ac­tual fight­ing men.

Wars are won by fight­ing men, first, last and all the time. All that the most pa­tri­otic coun­try in the world can do is sec­ond the ef­forts of the men who do the ac­tual fight­ing on the bat­tle­front. Ger­many col­lapsed like a house of cards, it is true, but the col­lapse would never have come if the bul­lets and the bay­o­nets of the Tom­mies, the poilus, and our own splen­did men, had not taught them the les­son of de­feat.

The fight­ing men — give them the honor!

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