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Friday, 1 July 2016

Our Canadian Home

July 1st is Canada Day, a national celebration of the country we love. 

 
 
In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador, the tenth province of Canada, commemorates the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, part of the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. For Newfoundlanders, today is also Memorial Day.

In that battle, Newfoundland, a small country of 250,000 people at the time, lost 324 men, while 386 were wounded. The morning after the battle, only 68 members of the Newfoundland Regiment answered the roll call. The loss of these young men was felt for generations. Today, we remember their bravery and sacrifice.

 

Thinking of our country today, I think of my family's two island homes, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

 
                                                                           NASA photo

The islands look so beautiful as seen from the International Space Station.

 
                                                                           NASA photo

They are lovely at ground level of course, but looking at the NASA photos, I am struck by their isolation. This island of Prince Edward, nestled in the Northumberland Strait, has a fixed link to eastern Canada. It appears more protected than Newfoundland, which is out in the North Atlantic, off the edge of North America.

While these islands are not tropical or exotic, and are different in many ways, each holds family and friends, and is comfortable and familiar. Home.

Our country is huge, the second largest in the world. With only 35,000,000 people, it has vast wilderness, with the majority of the population living in cities. Rural Canada is in decline. However, with oceans to the north, east and west, we are influenced by the sea and for those of us who choose to live near the ocean, it is part of what makes us Canadian.

This link to the sea is well expressed in a song written and performed by Wayne Chaulk of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. It speaks of life by the ocean, away from the bustle of the big city. It captures the essence of  island life, our part of Canada.


Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians all over this great country. Each part of the country, with its geography, customs, traditions and people, makes us Canadian, different but one. We have much to celebrate.

21 comments:

  1. I am honored to be living so close to the Canadian border, and I would have emigrated but the Canadian government didn't want me at sixty. Happy Canada Day to all! :-)

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    1. Ahhhh...the people would have wanted you, Jan. The government is another matter.

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  2. Happy Canada day, you wouldn't like that cretin Mark Carney back would you.

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    1. He wouldn't want to be back here, Adrian. Not prestigious enough.

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  3. I always like to hear explanations of other peoples' holidays. We (US) celebrate our holidays wholeheartedly but we don't always hear or appreciate other holidays or recognition days. I'm glad to know more about this.

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    1. There are family bbqs, parades in some places, and fireworks. Canada Day is a big deal in this country, Barbara.

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  4. Happy Canada Day to you and yours. I enjoy reading your blog and beautiful photos. Although, I am not a Canadian, I feel as though I am one quarter at least. My mother's Mum and Dad emigrated to the US at the turn of the century in 1900 from Newfoundland. After I met my husband, he served 2 yrs. in Argentia, Nfld where my youngest son was born. I kiddingly tell him, he's a 'Newfie'. Newfoundland is a beautiful province for which I will always have ties there. . Bess from Massachusetts

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    1. Bess, glad to meet you. You are part Newfoundlander for sure, as is your son. I've met several people on-line whose fathers served in Argentia. Today the world is so much smaller than it used to be.

      Thank you for visiting. Hope to see you again.

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  5. Happy Memorial Day (or not). The Battle of the Somme was useless. So many wasted lives for nought. WWI is sad memory for all the members of the Commonwealth countries. I didn't know about the Newfoundlanders, thanks for sharing this.

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    1. It was a useless battle and our young lads were victims that day. They were lambs led to the slaughter. Time has helped us understand the reason for the defeat and the impact on our country, now province of Canada.

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  6. Enjoy your day. Canada has always been a country that I admire and your words and photos just reinforce that for me. Thanks so much Marie.

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    1. Thank you Ginnie. It was a great day!

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  7. We live in a great country with freedom not allowed elsewhere.
    Hope your Canada Day was nice.

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    1. Yours too, Judith. We are fortunate to live in this country.

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  8. Thank you for the history and wonderful photos from space.
    Happy Canada Day.

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    1. Hope you have a wonderful holiday next week.

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  9. Happy Canada Day to you,Mariette.
    Canada is a gorgeous country with rich natural resources. I have heard from my English Teacher, Victor.

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    1. Thank you, Tomoko. We had a great day!

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  10. The war part gave me chills, and I loved the satellite imagery.

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  11. I love the NASA photos. The islands look great!

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  12. Had no idea July 1 was also Memorial Day for Newfoundland. Enjoyed the satellite photos.

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