Indifferent to the War

“Indifferent to the war” – (PIP #20)

By Louise Peloquin

     The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022 and the war is about to enter its third year. The Hamas attack on Israel occurred over four months ago, on October 7, 2023, and the fighting continues. Conflicts around the globe continually disintegrate lives and obliterate peace.

Our nano-second news environment seems to be making some people blasé about war. Is this new? The following editorial by Edouard Fecteau, one of L’Etoile’s jack-of-all-trades, would indicate not.

L’Etoile November 22, 1944

Indifferent to the war

     It is unfortunate to observe that people are becoming more and more indifferent to the war. We forget the sacrifices made by the youth and become accustomed to their absence….

     We become used to the soldier’s absence.

     At the beginning of the war, almost all churches organized special prayers for the soldiers. At that time, the faithful filled churches. There should be more of this because more of our children and friends have left and continue to leave each week. Unfortunately, the number of faithful is shrinking and people are talking less about the beauty of these prayer meetings.

     We easily notice the homes where flies a little flag with a star. (1) We talked about it with friends. No longer do we even see these flags. We do not notice that in the past these flags had one star. Now they have two, three or more. These little flags no longer impress us.

     At the beginning of the war we often wrote to the soldiers, Now, these soldiers write us to say that almost all of their friends have ceased sending them letters. Only family members write and their letters are becoming shorter and shorter.

     We used to speak with pride about the first war bonds bought. Now we speak about bonds exchanged.

     On Sundays we used to publish a list of Masses recommended for the soldiers. Now these Masses are less and less frequent. 

     We have become indifferent to the scourge which war represents. (2) 

Edouard Fecteau


  1. Bob Vandenbulcke’s father Emile joined L’Etoile’s team as a very young man. His family lived above the Prince Street print shop and had a rooftop garden overlooking Little Canada. Emile was one of the numerous young Franco-Americans to enlist in the war. During his tour of duty abroad, a little flag with a star flew at 24-26 Prince Street indicating that a resident there was serving in the military. Emile returned from the war and L’Etoile welcomed its hero back with open arms. We thank Bob for sharing this information and for allowing us to post the family photos below. Perhaps Emile Vandenbulcke inspired Jack Kerouac to name Emile Duluoz in Maggie Cassidy? After all, Kerouac’s father Leo worked at L’Etoile along with Emile Vandenbulcke. For more on Leo Kerouac, see “Leo with Louis at L’Etoile,” – PIP #13, posted on October 5, 2023.
  2. Translation by Louise Peloquin.

BELOW PHOTOS – the 24-26 Prince St. rooftop garden



One Response to Indifferent to the War

  1. Suzanne Beebe says:

    Louise, this is a telling and especially poignant entry given current events and context. Thanks so much for posting it…

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