There is a common saying:” Nations are made in war.” According to many, Vimy Ridge was the first time when Canadians really felt a sense of national identity. Just like the famous comment made by Brigadier General Alex Cross "It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought …that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation." The Ridge was a key position of the German defence system in northern France. Here the four divisions of the Canadian advanced side by side for the first time. Here the young volunteers from across the nation trained and fought as “Canadians”, not just a part of the Empire. Here the commanders invented the “rolling barrage”. Here a full-scale replica of the battlefield was built and the soldiers trained day and night. At Vimy Ridge, the Canadians captured more ground and prisoners than any previous British attack. However, the battle at Vimy came at a high cost: the 16,000 casualties brought devastation to home while victory was celebrated and the conscription debate shook the fragile unity in the country. Anyway, Vimy Ridge showed that although Canada has never had a huge army or talked about patriotism all the time, her people can fight, and fight well when they need to.
In the fall of 1970, Canadians underwent their biggest crisis in peacetime. A radical Quebec separatist group, the Fronte de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ), kidnapped British trade commissioner James Cross from his residence in Montreal. The FLQ demanded the release of “political prisoners” and that their