O Canada

IMG_0213This weekend, we will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

In fact, all year Canadians have been and will be taking the opportunity to celebrate a big birthday for our great country.

I’ve been taking time to reflect on what makes Canada so special. Others have been doing the same, exploring what makes our country great.

People will cite universal health care and the invention of insulin. How about the fact we created hockey, lacrosse, basketball and 5-pin bowling. We have the still inspirational Terry Fox. We have Hayley Wickenheiser.

We have poutine. We invented the bloody Caesar and who can imagine life without our (still superior) clamato juice?

Canada alone has the Robertson screw and screwdriver. We are responsible for Captain Kirk. Of course we have snowblowers and snowmobiling but we also invented the electric wheelchair.

And there are Nanaimo bars.

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But beyond those “things” there are also intangibles that make me proud to be Canadian.

We played significant roles in the two major world conflicts, World War 1 and World War 2. These contributions are not always recognized in popular films, for instance, but a trip to Europe will confirm that people there still recognize the sacrifice Canadians made.

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In fact, when traveling, I have found that many people appreciate Canadians for who we are, as much as for what we have. We are generally a friendly, kind and caring culture that has always welcomed newcomers to our shores. We are almost unbearably polite, and are often teased for saying “sorry” too often. I prefer that culture to brash, loud arrogance.

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Thanks to the sacrifices of those before me, I live in a free country with a democracy. Granted, it can be messy, but I get to vote.

There are many opportunities available to me. I can move freely in my country, and I am welcome in most other countries.

We have dark periods of our history, but I like to believe we are working to reconcile our mistakes.

Perhaps what I value most about Canada, and the fact I feel so grateful to have been born here, is a combination of all those things. From Terry Fox to clamato juice to voting for those who represent me, I am happy and proud to be Canadian. I wear my flag proudly, this year and every year.P1080805.jpg

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