When I was thinking about writing this post I thought a lot about a friend who grew up in England, and who now resides in Canada. Apparently while he was growing up there were two television shows about Canada that appeared on English TV, and these shows contributed heavily to his impression of our nation. What shows? Well, it was this :
And, slightly more worrisome, this :
When he shared this with me recently I asked if this was truly how he formed his initial opinions of Canada, and he replied that it was indeed. I then asked if when he arrived in Canada he was shocked the first time he ran into trouble and a dog didn't appear to rescue him. He must have thought we are a nation heavily reliant on German Shepherds and Huskies.
All joking aside, though, this nation is one of which I am so very proud. When I travelled to England and Ireland recently I declared my nationality with pride and was always so very pleased at how well that declaration was received. People from around the world have a fondness for this country, it seems.
I have commented that some day I would like to live in Ireland, but it would be very difficult to leave Canada. I love Ireland for so very many reasons (one of them being it's many similarities to Canada) but it could never truly be home for me, either. From the East Coast to the West, from the far north to the prairies, this country encompasses some amazing places. Even more than that, though, it holds some amazing people. These are people who were born here, and those who were born in other countries. These are people who are Canadian by default, and those who have chosen to become Canadian. Over the course of my life, and particularly recently, I have had the great pleasure to meet interesting, thoughtful, and kind people who make me so proud to be Canadian.
There is something unique about this country, and so very special. We may not have the sis-boom-bah, "rocket's red glare" patriotism of other nations, but we have a patriotism of the quiet, steadfast, and life-long sort. We will defend our nation, we will show the world who we are as Canadians, and we will share with each other our vision and pride in our country.
Happy Canada Day, dear friends. Get out there and celebrate Canada - and Canadians - today. I know I will be!