Friday, August 15, 2008

A Brave and Modest Nation

I've been watching the summer Olympics and despite our lack of medals, I'm so proud of our Canadian athletes and all they've accomplished. Most of them have little or no government assistance. In fact, years ago, the young man who mowed my lawn and cleared snow from my driveway was an Olympic athlete, and confessed he was forced to work two jobs just to keep up. This is time he could have, and should have, spent training. We're so close, but just like the game of horseshoes, close just doesn't count in the Olympics. Just think what our men and women could do with a little financial help. Hello, Mr. Harper, are you listening?

While I was pondering Canadian athletes and their grace under pressure during countless interviews, I remembered I had this piece in my files and so, I share it with you today.

This is a wonderful tribute by Kevin Myers, an Irish journalist and commentator, about Canada's record of quiet valour in wartime. This article first appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on April 21st, 2002 and in the National Post.

A Salute to a Brave and Modest Nation

LONDON - Until the deaths last week of four Canadian soldiers accidentally killed by a U.S. warplane in Afghanistan, probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops were deployed in the region. And as always, Canada will now bury its dead, just as the rest of the world as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.

It seems that Canada's historic mission READ THE REST HERE


BB said...

Oh wow. This is so weird. I was just thinking "Where is Canada?" when I was watching the swimming last night. You guys used to go head to head with us and the USA in the pool - and there were some serious hotties in little red speedos if I recall correctly!! Victor Davis?? Something like that. Heh.

Y'know Canada is a whole lot like Australia when it comes to being a sidekick to America - except we are a lot further away and have the benefit of maintaining a little novelty (ie our accents are distinctively different from a Yanky drawl!). And in some ways you have to put up with losing your identity like New Zealand does with Australia - many of the top "Aussie" stars are actually Kiwis (like Russel Crowe). It sucks, but no-one can really be bothered to fight it too much.

From our perspective, Canada is an intriguing and beautiful place, definitely distinct from the USA. Even if we can't always pick yer accents!!! Although Brother Bear helped us with the "eh?"!!!


PS If I see any Canadians in the pool I'll be gunning for them!!!

laughingwolf said...

sad indeed, pam :(

dykewife said...

i'd never seen this article before, thank you for reproducing it here.

left out of the story, and i think of equal importance, is that lester pearson was the prime minister who created the peace keepers in the first place.

it is sad that canada does so much without recognition, but that's the way canada has been. even now, except for july 1, there's no major patriotic events to show off. people are proud of being canadian without being all pushy about it.

i guess that's why american travellers wear canadian flags when they travel in europe.

laughingwolf said...

we have one of each flavor today, pam :)

A Novel Woman said...

Sorry, everyone, but I've been away at the cottage and it's been a couple of very busy weeks. Tonight there was a raging storm so intense, we hid in the basement, but I was rewarded with seven loons swimming together under a rainbow. Seven! Never seen that before.

Yay Canada!! We finally landed some medals!

Bush Babe, I remember Victor Davis for other reasons. He was killed not far from my home, right in front of the restaurant where my daughter now works. It was a sad, sad day when we lost such a promising young athlete.

However, you are Quite Correct that there are some very lovely young men in fine form competing in the pool this year. I only watch to see them compete, of course. I hardly notice (ahem) the toned bodies, the broad shoulders, the way they shake their biceps or tense their muscular buttocks...hang on, where was I? Yes, GO CANADA!!

Dykewife, you're quite right about Lester B. but again, we have a hard time bragging about our accomplishments, do we not?

Laughingwolf, see top GO CANADA!! I'm so happy for SIXTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD Ian Millar and his equestrian team!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the heartfelt reprint of an article I had never read before. I am an American and for one am very grateful to our generous and loyal Canadian neighbors. I am also ashamed at so many of my nation's "bully-like" actions and our tendency to think that we are somehow above reproach on so many different issues. From my perspective, we need to remember our humble beginnings and get God back into every aspect of our country's actions. Without His help, we would be under British rule or speaking German instead of the boastful Americans we have become. Good luck to the Canadian athletes!! And...thank you.

A Novel Woman said...

Thank you, Lorie, for your comments!

I certainly don't want you to think that I am American bashing. We Canadians love our neighbours to the south. They are warm, generous, and welcoming and we are grateful to have them as our closest neighbours.