On July 1, Canadians will celebrate the nation’s birthday.
It’s a big birthday this year.
There are, of course, some who will argue Canada’s birthday is not worth all the pomp and ceremony that goes along with it. In fact there are those who are downright bitter about some elements of history that have affected them personally.
And it is true.
The last 150 years have not been without its share of mistakes and political blunders that have affected generations.
The indigenous people have born the cross of indignities they have suffered at the hands of our forefathers for a very long time. And, reality dictates there is no way to erase this horrible tragedy from the calendar of time.
We all know it happened.
But Canada has done its best to right some very old wrongs and we all need to move forward.
The future for Canadians, as well as people living anywhere in the world for that matter, remains uncertain.
No one has a crystal ball.
And the fact that terrorism and hatred can explode into a frightening mob mentality, leaves everyone a little uneasy.
Of course, political unrest has been ongoing since time began, but as Canada turns 150 it seems to have taken a new and dangerous turn.
However, it is 2017 and Canada is 150 years old and I believe this is more than enough reason to hoist a Canadian flag and wave it proudly.
I, for one, am very proud to call Canada my home and myself a Canadian.
Of course, I was born here, not very far away, in a tiny town called Eckville, a town that no longer even has a hospital, thanks to our well-remembered Premier Ralph Klein and his slash and burn philosophy.
But, my father wasn’t born Canadian. He came over from Scotland as a small boy with his parents. They came on a ship and they settled in Vancouver. I have no idea how they ended up in Alberta; that part of my own personal history has been lost over the years.
My mother was born in central Alberta, but her parents came over from England in the early 1900s, and, hence you have it.
Another new family of Canadians. I believe they called them pioneers.
A friend of mine, also a Canadian has an even more interesting heritage. His father was a peacekeeper in Germany after the war and ended up taking a German widow for his wife. Apparently their language difference was no barrier to this love story.
They settled in the remote, bald prairie on a farm near Battleford, Saskatchewan. And so you have it.
Another Canadian family was born.
We all know Canada has made mistakes over the years. Realistically, when you stop to think about it, what country in existence could make it to 150 years old and not have made some blunders along the way.
But even with its checkered past, I am most grateful to live in Canada and I am particularly in love with red and white this year.
I will proudly put up a Canadian flag on my balcony and watched the birthday fireworks and mingle with my Canadian friends.
Come to think of it, they are not all Canadian!
They are simply friends and we will all celebrate together.
That will make it even better!