Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A day of remembrances and celebrations

July 1st - Canada Day. A day to celebrate our country and the freedoms we enjoy. It has always bothered me how little the activities that I've seen at Canada Day celebrations actually have to do with what the day is supposed to be about. I'd love to see activities that teach, or review Canadian history, geography, politics, etc. There's no reason why that couldn't be incorporated in the games that are a part of most celebrations. Even the decorations could help in that respect, with a little bit of forethought. It seems, however, that people are content just to party. Oh well.

Mind you, with all that's happening in our country lately it seems our freedoms are slowly slipping away from us and we have less and less to celebrate in that regard. I'm still thankful for the freedoms that we do have, but I'm also sad for some that I see slipping away.

A few years back, while studying with my son the book No Man's Land, by Kevin Major, I discovered that there are a lot of Newfoundlanders that actually struggle with celebrating Canada Day on July 1st. July 1st to them is Memorial Day - the day they remember the terrible battle at Beaumont Hamel when the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was nearly wiped out. Kevin Major's book is an amazing read about that battle.

Many communities in Newfoundland start the day, July 1st, with Memorial services and end the day with the Canada Day celebrations. It's a day with a mixture of remembrance, mourning, and celebration.