As many of you know, my daughter is on a school trip that has taken her through Amsterdam, Belgium, France and then on to England. The purpose of the trip was to extend what the students have learned about Canada’s role in the First and Second World Wars with the primary focus being their attendance at the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
As I look through the pictures and daily summary written by the lead teacher of my daughter’s school group, I am immensely proud like never before to be Canadian. Canadians as a rule tend to be quiet about our accomplishments. We are known to be overly polite, saying sorry even when we are not in the wrong. For the most part, we are a peaceful country and welcome differences in culture, race and religion, enjoying the opportunity and freedom to learn from each other. At Vimy Ridge, though, Canadian troops were anything but quiet and peaceful, doing what had to be done in the name of freedom and world peace. The appreciation shown to Canada even one hundred years later is touching and humbling. It truly makes me feel proud being part of this country of the red maple leaf and I hope our students come home with a new appreciation and love for the country they call home.
A small memorial found on Juno Beach.
Juno Beach, France
I respect anyone who serves in the military, whether it be Canada or abroad. It is not a job for the faint of heart and shows a deep love and commitment to the values and morals wearing such a uniform means. Whether it was a hundred years ago or today, I hope that any one serving their country does so for the desire of maintaining peace and good relations from one land to another.
Canada’s National Anthem
This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday. We are young compared to most countries around the world. Our anthem describes us as “the true north strong and free”. I hope that what the students travelling abroad learn that war is never the perfect solution to disagreements between countries and that their generation must be the ones to carry the torch of remembrance so we can say and believe, “never again”. We must honour those who died so that we may enjoy the freedom and comforts of our home land and we must show our soldiers today the love and respect they deserve for continuing to ensure our country stays strong and free.
Whatever country you live in, Be Pretty, Plus and Proud of your nationality and homeland. It has shaped who you are and is part of who you are. I am thankful for where I live. I hope where ever you are, you can feel the same way. I know I am among the lucky for I am Canadian!