It is fashionable to talk about your country in the third person such as …. “I don’t like what Canada is doing about Global Warming“ … in the realm of things like political discussions. But after watching today’s ceremony from Vimy Ridge I stumbled upon an concept that I have never been able to put into words. When I think about Canada it is not the ‘Government of Canada’ , It’s Canada in the First Person.
By that I mean; there is this fundamental part of me that is being a Canadian. I have a hard time thinking about living anywhere else, and I could never become a citizen of somewhere else. It is this deep emotion that says this is who I am and when Canada hurts, I cry. That is my country in the First Person.
I think it came to me when I watch part of a docudrama yesterday and they had a group of teen to twenty-somethings visiting Beaumont Hamel. A girl, whose family wasn’t originally from Newfoundland but she was born and grew up there, was speaking of the July 1st battle. It wasn’t her family’s history but it was her’s. She was a Newfoundlander. This was sacred ground. When she thought of the devastation of the Newfoundland Regiment it wasn’t just a battle it was a disaster to Newfoundland as big as a Tsunami or an earthquake and it didn’t matter if it happened 10 years ago or 100. It was part of who you are today.
I was right there, with her, at that moment. And again this morning watching the largest monument to Canada reopen.
There will be those that will argue the futility or war, or the glorification of long ago battles, or whether the legend of a place like Vimy is backed up by facts.
Don’t care. Not the point.
This is my country, it is an inseparable part of who I am, you mess with Canada your messing with me .. Personally.