Celebrating our nation

Canada Day is right around the corner, and as always marks the perfect time for all of us to reflect on what a terrific nation we live in. No, life isn’t perfect and there are plenty of people undergoing all kinds of hardships including living with the lingering impact of the global recession.

But by and large we are a blessed people. Compared to many nations, we enjoy an amazing standard of living that could scarcely be imagined by many.

Most of us have never known what it is to be truly hungry for any length of time. We turn on our taps and can drink the water without fear of being stricken by some deadly disease. We have a government that, while not perfect, provides many services that again would be unimaginable in much of the developing world. Our health care system (again not perfect) is pretty much always there for us when we need it as well.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time in a developing country knows full well how privileged we are to call Canada home. People have all kinds of careers and opportunities to choose from. And we also live in a democracy. Some may feel like Canada isn’t as democratic as it used to be, but those principles still are at the foundation of how this country is operated.

As we’ve watched the news over the past while and seen citizens in other parts of the world fight so hard to have their voices heard and push valiantly for political reforms, the freedom and peaceful society that we so often take completely for granted is certainly something to be thankful for.

That’s a notion that was at the centre of last week’s Refugee Camp in the City, hosted by several local agencies. The idea is to give visitors an idea of what it would be like to arrive in a refugee camp desperate for safety, shelter and the bare essentials. The annual event is gathering momentum, and it’s great to see folks being touched by what they hear and hopefully taking action to support humanitarian organizations that are on the frontlines in such horrendous conditions.

Most Canadians are mindful of how good they have it, and that’s why Canada Day celebrations are so popular clear across the country. Here in Red Deer, organizers are putting the finishing touches on the Canada Day event at Bower Ponds. Thousands take part every year, enjoying a range of foods and musical entertainment that tap into a range of cultures.

It’s a winning mix – being introduced, via food and music, to ‘tastes’ of other lands while celebrating the tremendous wonder of our own.

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