Coming of age refers to when a child becomes an adult. In the beginning of the 20th century, Canada was a young country. It had been settled by European immigrants for hundreds of years, but it had only become self-governing in 1867. Shortly after the turn of the century, Canada entered World War I. Several years before, in 1910, Canada had decided to create their own navy rather than "contribute to the [British] Royal Navy." The Royal Canadian Navy became an important force during World War I. Britain needed supplies from North America for the war effort. Canada was able to supply those supplies and ship them across the Atlantic with the help of the Canadian Royal Navy. The Canadian Royal Navy also helped militarily.
The Canadian military also contributed significantly during World War II. They protected cargo ships who supplied the European Allies, patrolled the waters of the Atlantic against German U-boats, and fought with the British. After the two World Wars, Canada's military emerged as a strong force, independent from Britain.