A History of Canada: Dominion of the North

By Donald Creighton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
THE SEARCH FOR PEACE AND SECURITY

[I]

ON MARCH 19, 1919, the 'Princess Pats' -- Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry -- marched through the streets of Ottawa to receive a national welcome from the Governor-General of Canada. Famous for battle honours which stretched unbroken from St. Eloi to Mons, they had been cheered at every station along the railway line from Halifax to Ottawa; and at the capital they marched in full fighting dress with rifles and fixed bayonets through miles of frantic crowds to the Governor-General's dais on Parliament Hill. The wild enthusiasm of their reception was repeated for every unit of the Canadian Corps through those months of spring and early summer; and the cities, towns, and villages of the country welcomed back their regiments and battalions with flags, fireworks, and searchlights, and packed, gesticulating crowds. In July, Parliament recorded its gratitude to the armed services in solemn resolutions. The Ministry of Soldiers' Civil Re-Establishment and the other boards and commissions concerned with reconstruction were working feverishly to cope with the thousands of soldiers who returned daily in those exciting months of 1919. The boys had come home. It was now time for the world they had been promised -- the world which was fit for heroes to live in -- to materialize.

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