Back in time, it was on this day in 1867 that our great nation was formed. Since then we Canadians have strived to make our mark on this earth, with blood, steel, sweat, and a little toughness tossed in there for good measure. There comes a certain sense of pride to being a Canadian, though it is not as pronounced as the Americans and their patriotism. Being part of the world’s greatest Empires gave rise to our cosmopolitan view of the world; being part of the Empire also taught us the meaning of valour, and honour. Despite our shortcomings, we as a nation stand as an example to the rest of the world; that we would rather drink beer and enjoy the company of others than go about looking for weapons of mass destruction, or forcing religious beliefs on others.
I am grateful to be part of this great nation: my world, my family, my friends – all exist with its borders. This sense of gratitude is where the commitment to duty stems from, for I could have been born under an apartheid regime, forced to live as a lesser to a particular ethnicity; I could have been born at a time when the world was at war with fascism, and my life would have been brief, and violent. I could have had my rights denied to me after a civil war because a certain select group of states decided it was not right to give the vote to a minority; I could have been born under the rising sun and sentenced to death because of their need to expand past the home islands. Instead, fate has seen fit to reward me with this life here in Canada, and as the years passed I have met such wonderful friends, seen such wonderful vistas, and even had the opportunity to partake in the election process, and serve in her military. Citizens of other nations may not have the same rights and privileges as I, and for that I am truly grateful. Seeing as how my family narrowly escaped the hell of the Second World War, and that this country extended its arms to welcome us, I have a reason to be grateful, I have a reason to serve, and I have a reason to remain loyal to the cause.
Some days I wish Quebec would stop her nonsense and see this too, but I also understand why she behaves as so. Some days I wish some families I have ran into would show a bit of gratitude rather than bicker and whine before proceeding to look to foreign shores; but it is a free country and they are free to express their opinions. However let us not worry about all these things on this day: let us celebrate as a nation, as a family, and as friends. Let us embrace one another under the maple leaf ensign, drink until we can no longer feel our fingers, and dance into the night; for it is our nation’s birthday, and we have a reason – many reasons – to be proud to be Canadian.
Happy Canada Day everybody!