Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada 139

Canada Day up in Arctic Bay has turned out to be a bit on the dreary and rainy side. This never seems to dull my enthusiasm for this day though. The town has really cleared out as many people are off camping at Victor Bay and narwhal hunting out at the flow-edge.

Back in my home town of Campbellford, Ontario, no doubt there is a nice crowd of people celebrating at the local park along the canal. The day has started off in past years with a big pancake breakfast in the park, served up the past few years by the local Rotary Club. Unfortunately, I will miss it this year, but I will be home soon enough.

What makes this day special for me and fills me with Canadian pride is how Canada gets involved in the world as a global citizen. I have a soft spot for our Canadians in uniform with an uncle who has served with the Canadian Forces in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia, Turkey and now Belgium. As a social studies teacher and a history buff, I shake my head and roll my eyes whenever I hear that Canada is a nation solely of peacekeepers. Apparently these people missed their history classes on our involvement in two world wars, Korea, Bosnia and Afghanistan. Peacekeepers yes but also soldiers, sailors and airmen ready and able to take to battle if necessary. Our hard-working men and women currently serving in Afghanistan are not far from my mind today.

I have another uncle in the RCMP who was involved in training civilian police in Croatia and Bosnia following the civil war there. He once sent the family an amazing post card from the port city of Dubrovnik and I resolved myself to visiting there one day to have tea and bask in the turquoise water and gentle Mediterranean breezes.

I have been fortunate through my career and personal travels to have traveled quite extensively around this big land of ours - from Pelee Island in the south, to Resolute Bay, Nunavut in the north and from Halifax to Vancouver Island and many interesting places in between. One of the few provinces I have yet to visit is Newfoundland, which is unfortunate since I have my fair share of relatives from my mother's side of the family living on "The Rock". I hope to visit soon and look forward to visiting a Water Street pub for a nice Guinness. Cheers! Happy 139 Canada from coast to coast to coast!

*** Just minutes after originally publishing my post we are greeted to the siren of the local fire truck as it makes its way around the community drapped in Canadian flags. Happy Birthday Canada!