The following came to me in a posting I receive regularly, as Cal’s Insights. The “insights” are worth sharing!
This weekend sees the celebration of two national birthdays. On Friday Canada turned 144 and on Monday, the United States turns 235. We love the patriotic music, fireworks displays and our national flags.
Canada and the United States have much in common with the national political roots of both countries going back to Europe and to Great Britain in particular. The United States is 91 years older than Canada and gained its independence through a brutal war; Canada’s independence came peacefully through an evolutionary process.
The United States has 10 times the population of Canada but Canada has considerably more land and natural resources. Canada is the United States’ biggest trading partner. The United States does more trade with Canada than with China, Japan and many European countries. Canada sends hockey players to the States and the States sends baseball players to Canada.
The border between the United States and Canada is the longest unguarded border between any two nations in the world. In the war of 1812, Canadians had to show its big neighbor that it couldn’t push them around. The Canadians captured the city of Detroit, burned the White House in Washington and burned the city of New Orleans, for what the Americans were trying to do. But apart from that, the two nations have been at peace.
A plaque at one of the border crossings says,
“This border is a lesson of peace to all nations.”
President Truman said, “Canada and the United States have reached the point where we no longer think of each other as foreign countries. We think of each other as friends.”
President John Kennedy said of Canada,
“Geography has made us neighbors, history has made us friends.”
The Indian chief, Sitting Bull, once said, “The meat of the buffalo tastes the same on both sides of the border!”
One person said, “Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans and the surest way of telling the two apart is to say so to a Canadian.”
I’ve always liked what Martin Luther King Jr. said. “During the Civil War and the operation of the underground railway, which worked to bring freedom to the slaves, the American negroes in the south knew that to the north was a land that was free from prejudice and where there was opportunity.” He added, “What our masters did not know, was that in our spirituals, heaven was a code word for Canada!”
The two nations have much in common. We share the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, great customs and traditions and great preachers.
Our nations are still relatively young, both are blessed with great beauty and both are still filled with tremendous opportunity. Both nations face tremendous challenges and have major social problems to deal with.
Joseph Stalin, the dictator in the former Soviet Union said, “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country. Therefore there must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of citizens in general and the teenagers in particular.”
Well, Joseph Stalin is dead and the political system he sought to establish has crumbled. Perhaps we have survived because he was never successful in destroying our national pride, our love of country and our sense of loyalty to the principles of freedom.
This is a time for patriotism.