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O Canada
by Fran Alexander

Today may well be the quietest Canada Day in our one hundred and fifty-three year history.

Though provinces, cities, towns and even villages are slowly opening up, large crowds are not gathering, fireworks are not happening, nor will we stand shoulder to shoulder and sing O Canada.

And that is because we are Canada … a vast land filled with leaders from coast to coast.

I don’t mean elected officials or public health offers. I mean the over 37 million individuals who call Canada home. We who recognize that the whole is of more value than the individual, that self sacrifice is for the greater good. That the greatest way to attain freedom as a citizen is by looking out for others.

During this pandemic we have done what the public heath officials have asked of us … kept our distance, stayed home, washed out hands (again, and again and again), worn masks and, when we didn’t quite feel well … we stayed home. Our united goal was to flatten the curve, stop the spread of Covid 19, protect others … our families, our neighbors, others who have never met.

In our following of their health orders, in our others-centered living, we, the citizens, have become leaders in the world … in our home and native land.

“This is one country. We’re all playing for Team Canada right now. Making the announcement as we did today was just part of getting Canada back on its feet and healthy again.” (CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie after the league postponed the start of its regular season)

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 7.15.30 AM

It’s a birthday for the nation of Canada and the nation will be singing it’s song all day long.

“God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

Glorious and free …

What exactly does that mean?

Glorious …

Well, glorious could be substituted with wonderful, magnificent. And Canada is! It’s beauty, from coast to coast (sea to shining sea), not just in it’s vast and varied landscape, but in it’s citizens from every nation. All have come here, to this vast nation, seeking what those of us who call this our native land … home … a place to live and work and play. A place to call our own.

Free …

To be free is to not be hindered, by anything or anyone. It can be physical, but it can also be emotional, social, spiritual … freedom from the inside out. So many Canadians have sought to live here in the True North, for the strength and freedom that is absent elsewhere, that is here in abundance. From my perspective, our freedom of speech has been, is and should always be our greatest freedom (even when what is said is disagreeable to us), for from it every other freedom evolves.

I am thankful for this nation that I call home.

I pray that God would keep our land glorious and free.

“Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion in thy loving care”

 

 

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It is said that if you make something personal, actually place yourself within it, that thing will have more relevance for you.

“O Canada!

My home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts I see thee rise,

The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee.”

I love to sing O Canada, and singing it, among hundreds or thousands of others is just the best. Some of my favorite memories from living in Canada’s national capital of Ottawa, Ontario, are times of singing our nations anthem at Parliament Hill, among the throngs of others proud to be Canadian.

Canada is my home, by birth, and I take seriously the rights and responsibilities that come from such a birthright.

That is correct, rights and responsibilities, not rest and relaxation (in case that is how you interpreted R&R).

To live in this country of Canada is to be blessed with amazing rights and freedoms, many of which are reminiscent of the Magna Carta (MC) of 1215 (England).

The Rights:

  • free speech (MC)
  • voting
  • move throughout the country
  • equal treatment under the law
  • language (French or English federally)

The fundamental freedoms (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms):

  • conscience and religion (MC)
  • thought, belief, expression (including freedom of the press) (MC)
  • peaceful assembly (MC)
  • freedom of association (MC)

These rights and freedoms make Canada what she is, but not without responsibilities as well.

And what are our responsibilities, as Canadian citizens?

According to the government of Canada, these are:

  • to obey the law
  • to take responsibility for yourself and your family
  • to serve as jury
  • to vote
  • to help others in your community
  • to protect our heritage and environment

These responsibilities are extremely important, if we are to fully know and experience our rights and freedoms. To these responsibilities, I would add one more. This one gives feet to all other responsibilities.

“do to others as you would have them do to you
Luke 6:31

It is said that if you make something personal, actually place yourself within it, that thing will have more relevance for you.



 

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