Thursday, October 27, 2011

Patriotism . ..

I have always admired the patriotism that the Americans have for their country, flag and national anthem.  Almost without exception when the national anthem is played the men click their heels even if they are not in the military, place their hand over their heart, and sing with GUSTO.  Canadians could well adopt some of this gusto.  It appalls me when people don't stand, take off their hats and continue to chew gum rather than SING.  Although, I do have to say that our national pride was kicked up a notch when we hosted the Olympic Games.

I now better understand where this comes from.  They not only teach their school children their history, they take them to it.  If you think planning a trip in October to visit historic sites takes you away from the madding crowds, WRONG.  There were buses lined up as far as the eye could see taking these kids to see and experience where history took place.  In fact, if you are walking and are not quite sure if you are headed in the right direction, just look for the buses.  

At Iwo Jima I have no idea how many bus loads of school kids were being brought to the site and they were getting history on the road.  The Old Post Office had a group from Kentucky and they were visiting Washington for a week.  Hooray for these kids . . . they will remember this part of their education for a lifetime.

It is my belief that Canadians think their history is boring and dull, however we have had some interesting figures in the past and we should know our own history. I don't think very many schools have week long trips to Ottawa or to the Plains of Abraham where our history happened.  It would be more real if they did.  Our children were certainly never offered this chance and I don't think it is a regular occurrence today.  That should change.  We know American history well, but I am not so sure we know our own as well.  I think there are a lot of people, including adults, who could not name all our Prime Ministers even dating back to the 1960's, let alone to John A. MacDonald.

Tammy & Dave's front porch
When I asked Tammy's Dave why he chose the military as his career, his immediate answer and without one second of hesitation was "Because I love my Country".  Plain and simple and from the heart.  I haven't heard that passion from many Canadians.

This is the flag that hangs outside their front door and this is not an uncommon sight.  When we first took our grandchildren to the United States for a road trip I wanted them to experience the culture of another country.  One of the first things I pointed out to them that was different from Canada, was the flag hanging outside the homes.

We Canadians should do more of that . . . I am proud to be a Canadian and we should display our pride more often.

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