The British link to Ireland has been overwhelmingly a source for good over the centuries.
From the fine Georgian architecture of Dublin to the industrial heritage of Belfast to the civilised legal and parliamentary systems that operate on both sides of the border, the British imprint has been a constructive one for the island.
And yet, tragically, a rapidly emerging narrative in nationalist Ireland ignores the British restraint during the Troubles that methodically thwarted brutal terrorism and prevented civil war.
This narrative turns the truth on its head, and depicts the paramilitaries as the freedom fighters and casts the forces of law and order as the murderers.
But republicans, who have a vested interest in promoting such an utter distortion, face a major obstacle in their bid to rewrite the past — the obstacle of anniversaries.
Barely a week goes by without a 25th or 30th or 40th anniversary of an IRA atrocity.
That is because there were so many of them.
And while an emerging republican tactic is to apologise for “mistakes”, there are only so many times that you can say a killing happened by error, particularly when your victims overwhelmingly came from one section of the community.
The latest massacre to be commemorated is the slaughter of six pensioners in Coleraine 40 years ago.
It is heartening to learn that hundreds of people remembered these frail victims at a service in the town yesterday.
For all the demonising of the security forces, and the re-writing of history, there is still a vast section of the community that remembers what really happened after 1969.
Their memories of those dark days should be transmitted, in a non bitter way, to those people who were not alive at the time.
If young folk know what preceded the current peace, they will cherish the present more, and be less likely to repeat the past.