Patriotism isn't a one day event...neither is remembering.
I grew up as the daughter of Mr. Canada. My dad is one of the most patriotic people I have ever met, he loves our country, our freedoms, our resources and our quirks. He watches Hockey Night in Canada, Corner Gas and CBC News religiously. He has read Farley Mowat's books and knows more about Canadian history and politics than most people I've met. Canada Day is second only to Christmas for the traditions and celebration we have. For crying out loud, the man's cel phone ring tone is O Canada! He is passionately Canadian.
And he passed on all of his love and passion for his homeland to me and my children.
I remember sitting with my dad when I was a small child and talking to him about Canada, our history and our heroes. He didn't wait for Remembrance Day to discuss the importance of remembering and honouring the men and women who have sacrificed all so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have. Every day we had discussions and, as I grew older, debates about politics and history. He taught my sister and I that it is not our right to vote but our duty, that Canadian politics and resources impact the world and it is better to make peace than war.
It has not only been during times of war that my dad has educated us on the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers but during times of peace as well. He has pointed out that Canadian forces have been present is Bosnia, Croatia, Rwanda and Haiti during times of great civil unrest, that the Canadians Peacekeepers stand up for freedom even if there is no financial or political gain for us. He has reminded us to not only honour the Green Berets but the Blue as well because it is peace that is the gift and war is sometimes unavoidable on the path to peace.
To all the men and women who wear the Blue Beret...blessed are the peacemakers. Thank-you and God Bless.