Prime Minister's Message
The War of 1812 - The Fight for Canada
The War of 1812 was a seminal event in the making of our great country. On the occasion of its 200th anniversary, I invite all Canadians to share in our history and commemorate our proud and brave ancestors who fought and won against enormous odds. As we near our country's 150th anniversary in 2017, Canadians have an opportunity to pay tribute to our founders, defining moments, and heroes who fought for Canada.
June 2012 will mark 200 years since the declaration of the War of 1812-a war that saw Aboriginal peoples, local and volunteer militias, and English and French-speaking regiments fight together to save Canada from American invasion.
The War helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity. The heroic efforts of Canadians then helped define who we are today, what side of the border we live on, and which flag we salute.
Beginning in October 2011, Canadians will be able to participate in a series of activities throughout the year leading up to the official commemoration of this decisive event in our country's history. Unmistakably, the War of 1812 was an event that affected the course of our country militarily, politically, and culturally.
The War was instrumental in creating Canada's armed forces. Many of our current reserve regiments in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada trace their origins back to this time. It was the beginning of a long and proud military history in Canada.
Events surrounding the 1812-15 armed conflict laid the foundation for Confederation and established the cornerstones of many of our political institutions. In short, the Canada we know today would not exist had the invasions of 1812-15 not been repelled.
The signing of the Treaty of Ghent and other treaties that followed confirmed the border between Canada and the United States-now the world's longest, undefended border and an example of nations coexisting peacefully side by side with mutual respect and friendship.
I invite Canadians across the country to learn more about this key chapter in our history and to take part in many of the activities and events that will pay tribute to our history and heritage.
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