That may seem to be an odd title to some of you, but my Canadian friends celebrate Canada Day on July 1st just before we celebrate the Fourth of July down in the lower 48 as we were once called.
So, I thought rather than just writing about the US celebration I’d give a tip of the hat to my friends to the North.
Although Canada existed prior to 1867, within both the French and British empires, Canada Day is frequently referred to as “Canada’s birthday”, particularly in the popular press. This is a misnomer, as Canada Day is the anniversary of only one important national milestone on the way to the country’s full independence, namely the joining on July 1, 1867, of the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada into a wider British federation of four provinces (the colony of Canada being divided into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec upon Confederation). Canada became a “kingdom in its own right” within the British Empire named the Dominion of Canada.[
My Canadian friends might chime in here and add their take on the Wikipedia report, which sounds like a happier and safer occasion than our Independence Day, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Those must’ve been scary times. If you hadn’t read it in a while, here’s a link to the entire document
It includes the names of the signers. Many names you will recognize as belonging to our founding fathers.
From the site listed above, here’s the beginning which most of us memorized at one time or another:
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
And ending with: — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Easy to forget what we celebrate on this day of picnics, parades, cookouts, water activities, and fireworks.
The courage of our fore-fathers boggles my mind. The care they took with the wording of this document. The meticulous listing of the King George’s errors, as they saw them. Their willingness to lay down their lives for a belief and for their brothers and sisters. Too often I forget the sacrifices those early Americans, speaking with their English accents, made for our future.
I believe all leaders can learn from this Declaration of Independence. When you trample on people’s rights, when you treat people unjustly, when you fail to care for the weakest among you, when you lie to the people, eventually, the people will rise-up.
We’ve seen examples of that in Tiananmen Square, the Arab Spring, and even here in the US with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and now to a lesser degree the Indivisible Movement.
So, to my Canadian Friends, Happy Canada Day and to those of us in the lower 48 (plus Alaska and Hawaii), Happy Fourth of July. Take a moment to reflect on our history as you enjoy your fried chicken, hamburgers, and watermelon. (Charley is deaf so he’s not bothered by the fireworks. Keep your hearing pups safe.)
We’re having family and friends over for a hamburger cookout, lots of eating, laughing, and game playing. I may have to force everyone to listen to a bit of the Declaration. (But don’t tell them. It will be a surprise.) How do you celebrate these holidays? Love to hear from you.
Plans are to send ACT OF BETRAYAL to my editor the end of this week or the first of next.
Book Sale. In honor of the original release of VERMONT ESCAPE on July 19, 2013, both it and TRUTH BE TOLD will be on sale for 99 Cents July 18, 19, & 20. Links to follow when we get closer. Please tell your friends.