Archive for February 18th, 2009

Reaction to the negative reactions to the re-enacting of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham

February 18, 2009

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 1759…




I wonder what is becoming of world history? mtl-battlefield-0123.html And why do we bow to those who want to deny it? mtl-plains-battle-cancelled-0217.html#socialcomments-submit

I have to admit, if it were not for the music of the Band, I might never had heard of the Plains of Abraham…



But that does not make it any less relevant.  Isn`t that what artists do, make us aware of things we might otherwise not be exposed to?

Oh, I`ve read the arguments of the separatists… how they feel it is insulting and “a slap in the face…” to re-enact the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, but I wonder… is that what re-enactments are all about?  Parti Québécois members don`t feel the loss of New France is anything to celebrate and that is why they strongly opposed the re-enactment.  Personally I think they have it all wrong.

Being from the United States and having just recently re-located to Ontario, I recall many Civil War battles that have been re-enacted in the past.  And the participants have been from both sides of the Mason/Dixon Line.  To them (and I have to agree), this is history in motion.

We sometimes lament that history will not be remembered, or that heroes will be forgotten with the passing of generations.  It is sad to think that the closing of our eyes seems to be a better solution than to be a part of a heritage that was shaped by a means that, unbeknown to us and completely out of our control, was a defining moment in history.  Maybe the French are embarrassed by the fact that the British caught them napping but 250 years is a long time to hold a grudge.

I am often out at night when the moon is full and think of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago looking up at that same moon on the night of his betrayal.  I do not blame the moon, but marvel at it.  I wonder how many great men in the past have looked up at it and struggled with what lay ahead of them and what the future held?  I imagine if I were to walk the fields at Gettysburg or to stand on the deck of Old Ironsides, I would feel the same way.

My own country owes a huge debt of gratitude to the French of the 1770`s because they came to our aid in our battle for independance from the British victors who vanquished them in Canada.  This might not have happened if the French had not still been pissed at the British over the Plains of Abraham.  Historians will hypothesize till the end of days over many of the “what ifs” and “if onlys” of the past events that have shaped the modern age.  But one thing is certain… we cannot change what has come to pass.

Perhaps if we could, we would go further back… before the conflict between the French and the British outside the walls of Québéc City, before the time of Christ even, back to where it all began in the Garden of Eden… then we would alter history in such a way that the times now would not be tainted with our own imperfections.  If we only could…

Meanwhile, it does not insult me to re-enact decisive battles for the sake of history.  If a song by the Band can arouse curiosity in me and cause me to research a topic, how much better to witness it first hand?  Imagine the young minds that could be inspired by the true events that happened long before we were more concerned about political correctness than accuracy?

Sometime in the future people may look back at the simple triviality’s that separated us and smile.  If there would be a re-enactment then to celebrate the times of now, who could be the losers?

Maybe, you and me…