Go Canada Go! Go Canada Go!
Those chants and cheers rang out at soccer stadiums across the nation this month, and this week those words won’t be out of place anywhere – tomorrow (July 1) is Canada Day.
We hope people will celebrate, because there are any number of ways to do so. There’s a family festival in Nanaimo and fireworks in Parksville, and some of the best Canada Day celebrations will be found on patios, in backyards or even in the backwoods.
On this occasion, it’s fun to wrap ourselves in the Canadian flag and wrap ourselves in our Canadian identity, whatever it may mean to us. It’s fine to celebrate some of the symbols that stand for Canada and Canadians, and play street hockey, eat poutine, drink beer and crank up Anne Murray on the ghetto blaster.
When we hear the strains of O Canada, or when we chant ‘Go Canada Go,’ there’s a temptation to think all the while, with swelled hearts, how Canada is the greatest country there is. That may be true, but Canada doesn’t equal great simply on principle. It’s all of us together and each of us individually who make it so, and must always make it so.
Canada Day, we think, is meant to inspire pride – pride in our country, in our flag, and in who we are. Are we proud to be Canadians? We should be. Most anywhere we look, from coast to coast to coast, and especially close to home, we should be able to find sources of pride. But if we don’t see, at the same time, things that we wish were different and ways that Canada can be better, then we aren’t looking closely enough.
We can salute the flag, and at the same time believe that it will one day stand for an even greater Canada.
Go Canada Go! Go Canada Go! Let’s cheer and chant, yet not be afraid to ask, at the same time, where we are going, and where we wish to go.