HAPPY CANADA DAY!!! BONNE FETE CANADA!!!
I trust that you all had a wonderful day and that you Canadians out there celebrated our wonderful country. Today I can't help but talk about this wonderful nation that I am so privileged to live in.
This morning on my morning break I was watching the festivities at Parliament Hill in Ottawa where the Queen was visiting and I couldn't help but be extremely proud to be living in this country.
The musical acts were so diverse and represented many different facets of our Canadian culture. I always love to hear French and English spoken together at national events and see our flag waving proudly.
No the performers weren't flashy.
No there were no exploding fireballs on stage.
No it was not over the top craziness.
What was it? Pure Canadian.
The Barenaked Ladies performed for the Queen (if you don't know who they are I bet that sounds CRAZY), H'Sao danced and sang loudly for the crowd with wild hairdoos, a soulful singer from Saskatchewan belted out a melody with a choir, a young piano virtuoso wooed us with Chopin and who could forget the operatic chorus of God Save The Queen?
But no song brought a stirring to my heart quite like the national anthem.
Seeing our Prime Minister singing proudly with his fellow Canadians, hearing the crowd roar after that last final bar. Moving indeed.
It was everything that we as a country are - in my opinion.
Diverse, multicultural, dignified, cultured, perhaps a bit conservative but very proud.
As I watched the Prime Minister arrive I couldn't help but think to myself, is there another country where the Prime Minister and his family walk through a street full of thousands of revelers and shake hands with them along the way? I am pretty sure that the president dosen't touch hands with random people who haven't been screened in random crowds. I know it is a silly little thing but it made me realize really how lucky I am to live in a country where we don't always assume the worst of our fellow man. Very encouraging.
Of course next came the Queen and Prince Phillip in the Royal Carriage, the inspection of the guard and the flybys. Cannons were letting off and planes soaring overhead as the Military Band played "The Maple Leaf Forever". I was struck by how rooted in tradition our country is and how much comfort I actually find in that.
Christopher Plummer presented the Queen and she made a moving speech. She quipped about how we should be proud of our hosting of the 2010 Olympic Games and not only because we won the Hockey Gold. What a comic that Queen is.
Of course Peter Mansbridge was on hand hosting the TV event (what would Canada Day be without Peter Mansbrige?) and who could miss the Queen shaking hands with the Barenaked Ladies after the show?
I smell a scandal brewing.... (they are a band for anyone who doesn't know, and they are men)
All in all I felt very proud to be Canadian today, not only because we celebrated in such a wonderful fashion but also because of who we are as a country. The small things and the bigger things that make this country what it is. The right to free speech, the quality of life we enjoy, the peace, the natural beauty, the people.
HAPPY CANADA DAY! BONNE FETE CANADA!