The big project this year is an attempt to rebrand the War of 1812 between Britain (along with its Canadian colony) and the United States. That part of the war fought on what is now Canadian soil was, in reality, a series of tawdry and incompetently planned skirmishes in which neither side really won. But the “new warriors”, led by the Prime Minister Stephen Harper and assisted by a platoon of Defence department flacks and eager academics, are attempting to turn 1812 into an epic Canadian victory.
Dennis is right on here. As I've written before, most of the soldiers who died during the conflict died of dysentery; and it's hard to elevate a war that has as its iconic image John Constable's "Three Infantrymen Fighting For Spot On Latrine".
Mr. Gruending is, incidentally, writing a review of Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety. The authors (Ian McKay and Jamie Swift) go on to note that the next big date is the WWI centenary. Great. I can just see Harper and Co. throwing around zillions to mount recreations of trench warfare, complete with giant rats defleshing bloated corpses.