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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 9, 2013/ 6 Teves, 5774

The War of 1812: Canadians remember a lot more than we do

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario — You can see the United States from here, across the raging Niagara River. But even if you couldn’t, you could be sure that hardly anyone over there is making much of this week’s bicentenary of an event that shattered this town, sowed bitterness that persisted for generations, and shaped a continent.

Two centuries ago this Tuesday, American troops who had occupied this small community for seven months abandoned their snowy redoubt in a region then called Upper Canada. They left the town — by that time occupied almost exclusively by women, the men having left to serve in the British army or in various militia — in flames and smoke.

The War of 1812 produced several moments of unfettered brutality. None, except perhaps for the burning of Washington, D.C., was as piteous as this one.

On Dec. 10, 1813, the residents of this area — a Loyalist village, in American eyes — stood calf-deep in snow in a ruthless chill and watched their homes, shops, churches, and schools lie smoldering in ruin. All their possessions, their clothes, and their memories were consumed by fire.

This cruelty in Newark, as Niagara-on-the-Lake was known then, may have prompted the British the following year to exercise no restraint in attacking Buffalo and other New York communities, in filibustering throughout the American frontier, and in burning the American capital.

At the distance of two centuries, confrontations such as the War of 1812, itself a sideshow to the Napoleonic Wars, seem like quaint artifacts of another time — the hardships somehow more fabled than fearful, the human costs more anecdotal than actual.

Today, for Americans the burning of the White House in August, 1814, is a mere curiosity. As for the victims of the earlier torching in what we now call Ontario, they are a historical trifle, bit players in someone else’s story.

Not so, once you realize the importance of what happened here, in a country Americans mostly ignore, during a war Americans mostly have forgotten, in an episode Americans mostly have repressed.

We can’t cure American historical amnesia, but we can fill in the human dimensions of a war whose North American combatants, in the phrase of the great Canadian historian Pierre Berton, “did not invite the war, did not care about the issues, and did not want to fight.”

Like the French and Indian War a half-century earlier, this was a European struggle that — messily, maddeningly, and ultimately, murderously — lapped up upon the eastern shores of the New World. In so doing, it forced men to fight a war whose causes they barely understood, even though the stakes could barely be larger — control of the wild, rich, and mostly unexplored land mass of North America.

One lesson of the episode might be that great, sweeping historical forces brush aside small groups of individuals — tragic figures of collateral damage during big shifts among great powers and even in small movements of military units.


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David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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