Canada Day 2020
For many Canadians across this beautiful land, July first is a day that is filled with parades, fireworks, barbecues, friends, family, and sunshine. It is a day to celebrate our nation, for better or for worse. A day to reflect on all the great things about our country and give some consideration to how we can make Canada even better. A day for all Canadians to celebrate our unity, regardless of anything that might otherwise differentiate us. Today, we should all be proud to say; “I am Canadian”.
But, is this patriotism appropriate during a time of considerable challenges? With everything going on in our nation, do we have reason to be proud? Arguably, yes.
We are all experiencing significant challenges in Canada. Too many to address in detail here. These challenges have all worked to distance us from each other physically and otherwise. And though we must maintain our social distancing for the sake of our physical health, the need to come together and rally under one banner is more important now than it has ever been.
Regardless of our differences in appearances, physiology, beliefs, politics, or cultures, we are living and working within the same national structure together. All of our differences exist within Canada, which means they are all part of the shared Canadian culture. How we become Canadian is less important that what we do as Canadians, and we should proudly welcome anyone who desires to share in, and contribute to, our national culture.
This is also a time of considerable social challenges. But regardless of what we are working and struggling for, whatever the problems and challenges lay before each of us, they are all part of our shared Canadian experience. Whether fighting for long overdue change, working to improve our conditions, or preparing for what the future might bring, our actions will shape our nation. Our disagreements forge our culture, and we are better for them. A healthy discord and reasonable debate provide the foundations for sound national policies.
As soldiers are called to rally to their regimental colours when morale and ranks are broken in battle, so too should we rally to our maple leaf banner in the face of our greatest challenges. For our strength to persevere comes from the knowledge that we are here together, we will fight together, and we will endure together.
Though we must stay apart for our health, we should be proud to stand united as a nation, to face our challenges as a country, to shape our national identity together, and to strive for a better Canada.
We are Canadian.