Stopping wars, keeping them from restarting, and observing the implementation of cease-fires—various shades of “peacekeeping”—have always been dangerous work. It has become particularly so over the past decade as peacekeepers increasingly find themselves in high intensity, near-war situations. No longer are belligerents constrained by world power blocs as they were before the end of the Cold War.

This is reflected in the list of the 107 Canadian soldiers who have been killed worldwide since 1950 while serving as peacekeepers, including 22 killed since 1992. The Peacekeeping Memorial in Ottawa reflects Canada’s tribute to this sacrifice and the nation’s pride in its soldiers’ contribution to world peace. Too often, however, Canadian peacekeepers feel the courage they display and the sacrifice they make are ignored by the media and forgotten by an uncaring Canadian public. Police officers who have been killed in the line of duty draw extensive media coverage and large, elaborate funerals, but fallen soldiers appear to elicit no such attention. One response of peacekeepers in the field to this perceived indifference has been to create their own memorials to fallen comrades. Over the years, I have visited a number of these locally made memorials, both in the former Republic of Yugoslavia and in the Middle East. This article tells their story.