I have been trying for a few days now to write an appropriately patriotic and bursting-with-pride editorial to celebrate Canada Day, without success. Nothing really seems to have gelled.
I start trying to enumerate all the things I love about Canada, but it just doesn’t work into a cohesive editorial.
I also get distracted by thinking about comments I hear and read from people who offer a litany of complaints, and compare our situation to fascists dictatorships or third-world countries.
I tried to use the lyrics to O Canada as the foundation for an editorial, but it just didn’t work out, either.
I have read a few editorials and watched a few videos seeking inspiration, but decided that those well-written pieces were just fine as they were, and trying to re-phrase portions of them into my own words just wouldn’t measure up.
And then I stumbled upon two videos that stand perfectly on their own to describe the sense of pride that fills my heart when I consider what it means to me to be a Canadian.
The first is a blast from the past, a theme song written to celebrate our centennial in 1967… Bobby Gimby’s “Canada.”
[Link to video http://youtu.be/18-oRTLIe3I opens in new window.]
I was only 6 (turning 7 in December) that year, but I remember the excitement that gripped the nation: Expo ’67, the Canada Train (which I got to see, from the outside, but not go in for the tour), various centennial projects.
Our main library, in fact, is one of those projects. Known as the “Centennial Library,” the City received funding to help in its construction. Out on the lawn, close to bay street, you’ll see the Centennial commemoration plaque, featuring the styled maple leaf that was the official symbol of Canada’s Centennial.
The video shows celebrations and projects from around the country — including the commemorative centennial currency series: coins and bills that had iconic images on them.
To this day it makes me smile when I find one of these coins in my change.
It was a great time, and we were uncharacteristically unapologetic in our celebration!
But, more characteristically, we are a subdued lot, when it comes to expressing our patriotism.
It often falls to others, therefore, to come out and state what a great country this is. Broadcaster Tom Brokaw did just that for us as part of the coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In watching this video — which I do recall seeing broadcast at the time — I am reminded of what a great country this we live in, and why so many people from around the world want to come here.
Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans
[Link to video http://youtu.be/bV_041oYDjg opens in a new window.]
I find myself moved to tears hearing this respected American journalist describe Canada in such glowing terms, recognizing what we Canadians sometimes forget — this IS a great country.
And that’s not just my opinion.
Happy Canada Day!