It was my first good laugh of the week. My oldest daughter had circulated an item that our son, an active duty Major in the US Marine Corps, had written to military colleagues in the Canadian Armed Forces. It was indeed worth sharing and she attached a comment of her own in which she stated, “This has more actual knowledge and experience to draw on than all these backroom racist keyboard warriors, mostly non-military, supporting the corrupt, morally repugnant current administration that is cozying up to Russia and North Korea in the name of nationalism”.
She added a postscript: “Our allies were there in our times of need, but how much longer will they be?”
My son wrote “With Canada Day being celebrated this week, I find myself reflecting on the sacrifices our allies have made, and continue to make, along side us during the War on Terror, not just from Canada, but from all member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Australia New Zealand US (ANZUS) accords, and all our other partnerships and alliances that are the foundation of post World War II international order.
With the faith of our allies shaken in recent weeks, it is important for our friends to remember the following:
True Americans honor their sacrifices.
True Americans don’t insult their friends.
True Americans remember we are the only nation to activate the self defense clause of these treaties after 9/11.
True Americans know that our friends to the north have paid the price in blood while answering our call for help.
So, Happy Canada Day, friends. It is an honor to serve with you, and we will see you back in the fight.”
Canada Day, on July 1st, is akin to our Fourth of July, and its essence can be seen in the thousands of family barbecue get-togethers and community pot-lucks just as in the United States.
The Seattle Mariners ace pitcher, Jimmy Paxton, hails from British Columbia, and he and his family enjoy their Canada Day get-together which often includes a family baseball game. He is proud of his Canadian citizenship and Canadians are justifiably proud of his pitching the first no hitter ever on Canadian soil which he did earlier this year against the Toronto Blue Jays..
Many Canadians are still perplexed by President Donald Trump’s ignorance of the balance of trade, which is actually slightly favorable to America. Nor was he aware that Canada is our largest trading partner with their purchases valued at $690 billion annually. Nor will they forget nor forgive Trump’s rude and insulting behavior towards their Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
It is Trump’s mercurial, unpredictable behavior along with his inveterate lying that has the military’s officer corps shaking their heads. These talented, well-educated and superbly trained young men and women know strategies, while having to be flexible, are put together carefully and for the long-term. For years joint exercises with their counter parts have been a crucial component.
Yet in the time it takes to do a tweet Trump dumps 50 years of painstaking history.
Canada of late has been reducing its defense outlays, relying more than ever on the shield provided by the United States. Likewise, the economies of the two nations are becoming more entwined. The degree to which America is starting to look to be an unreliable partner might cause the folks in Ottawa to rethink this reliance.
Canadians are also keenly aware that several times in the past America sent invasion forces to seize Canada. And as late as the 1860 s there were calls from the U.S. Senate to annex Canada. Despite past history and current events, Canada remains a true friend. Lucky for us.
I close with the Canadian national anthem, one of the finest ever penned:
Oh Canada, our home and native land,
True patriot hearts in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see the rise
The true north strong and free.
From far and wide
Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free,
Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee (repeat).
Trust all had a great 4th of July or a great Canada Day.
It’s these traditions and community gatherings that will keep us together.