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Is Ambivalence the Heart of Canadian Identity? I'm Not Sure...

Our American neighbours just below the border take July 4th very seriously, singing "The Stars and Stripes Forever" with great gusto, and boldly waving the American flag. When Canada Day (July lst) comes around, our response is much more ambivalent and muted. Yes, a few flags appear. Yes, our national anthem Is still sung at hockey games and veterans gatherings. But overall, as Canadians, we seem almost embarrassed to be too enthusiastic about our identity as Canadians. When I sing "O Canada" It often stirs something deep within me that I do not fully understand. Sometimes I have just brushed those feelings away, describing them as the pre hockey game litters. But in reality I love this land of Canada, with all Its joys and frustrations. Canada, despite all its problems and headaches is still "the Truth North, Strong and Free".

Our national anthem O Canada" is one of the few national anthems that is actually a prayer. The tune was originally written by Calixa Lavallee, a French Canadian who lived between 1842 to 1891. Robert Stanley Weir wrote the four English verses in 1908 to the anthem. '0 Canada' in both languages is a living testimony to the significant spiritual roots of our nation.

Why is it that so many Canadians seem to be suffering from spiritual amnesia about their great heritage? Click to find out more...


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Contact Rev. Ed Hird 
St. Simon's Anglican Church 
North Vancouver, B.C.