Monday, 1 July 2013

Honor Canada Day with dignity

We’ve all done it before: when the sun rises on a day marking an anniversary of something that went horribly wrong, we — often silently — wonder if, because of the date, history will repeat itself. The folks in Edmonton probably had that very thought today — hours before darkness falls over the city and fireworks. Because this is the 12th anniversary of the Canada Day aftermath that gave this city a bad image across the country, if not North America.
...a picture from July 2, 2002

Re-hashing details of what happened after 2 a.m. July 2 where crowds grew as high as 1,200 on Edmonton’s Whyte. Ave. is pointless. Edmonton’s civic pride took a great hit, among other things. A City of Edmonton report says the police costs and some clean-up of the riot exceeded $312,000. The city had to pay for it, absolutely. But one can wonder if other services had to be paired back or even cut.
Celebrating Canada Day is a national tradition. We deserve to. We have every right to boast the maple leaf and wear red and white colors with pride. We need to. But as we do that later tonight, let’s take some pride in our cities, provinces, and of course, our country. Let’s not harm anyone or disrespect any part of our country. Perhaps if we do that we will honor the best way possible.

...fireworks in Edmonton


The view across the gravel road on past Canada Day mornings

My father's home town: Meota, Sask.: 30 km north of North Battleford
I am very fortunate to be able to picture things quite clearly in my mind’s eye. And if you don’t mind I want to share how I shared so many July 1 mornings in Meota, Sask. with my parents in their retirement home overlooking Jackfish Lake. It started with my mother making pancakes and serving them on a tick oak table. We chatted for close to an hour and drank countless cups of coffee.

...the deck where I spent hours

I wheeled myself onto a freshly-stained — Dad stained it, I think, every month. The deck was raised over the lawn where tall popular trees towered. A gravel road was right in front of the lawn where cars drove slowly. Across the road stood another bank of trees before the land took a steep dip down to the lake. We couldn’t see the shoreline from the deck, but the rest of the view certainly makes up for it.

And that’s the view I looked at for hours. Jackfish Lake is 18 kms wide: you can barely see the other side of it. My wind often got washed up in the water of the lake: on those quiet days when it looked like glass, and those times when a storm was coming in from the north, and the lake was choppy — even a little angry.
....the view we had of the lake, across the gravel road

I share such images with you in hopes Canada Day morning is filled with every person and every thing you hope to see.