A long with New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, India, and others,
Canada fought in someone else's wars for the abstract notions of
justice and freedom. This was true in two World Wars and the Korean War.
Canada was not threatened with invasion or conquest in these wars, yet
it sent soldiers to fight and die in all of them. Canada, alone among
the Dominions, did not seek territorial acquisitions in the peace
settlements. Historian J.L. Granatstein wonders about Canada's
motives. "There may be something noble in this. To fight for
abstractions, to mobilize in defence of principles, is altruism of the
highest order. Or, there mights be something utterly foolish in a nation
arming its manpower and going off to war for abstractions.
"In such circumstances, why should young Canadians have been
sent to the trenches in Flanders, to the hills of Hong Kong, and the
pebbled beaches of Dieppe, to die?"