The Right Coast

April 06, 2004
On the Virtue (and Vice) of Forgetfulness, Part 3
By Gail Heriot

Linda Seebach, columnist for the Rocky Mountain News, sent me a note about my forgetfulness post on Sunday. She has a Canadian anecdote that supports my view that it isn't just that Americans tend to win their conflicts that causes their forgetfulness.

Seebach recounts that while attending the National Conference of Editorial Writers annual meeting in Ottawa a few years ago, she heard a Canadian speaker commenting on the War of 1812. He observed that the United States invaded Canada, lost and has since forgotten about it, but that, despite winning, the Canadians have been brooding over it ever since. That sounds right to me.

(I note in passing that my very un-Canadian ex-husband's ancestor was Sir Isaac Brock, the general who repelled the Americans. Brock's descendants must have voted with their feet; many of them wound up in Texas.)