Old fashioned patriotism

As we approach Canada Day (I still think of it as “Dominion Day”) and the 150th anniversary of Confederation ~ albeit one with giant rubber ducks rather than images of the great Sir John A ~ I cannot help but notice how our patriotism has changed … and not just in my lifetime.

7182018_f520We came, correctly, in my opinion, to look askance at both 19th century British jingoism and 20th century rampant American exceptionalism-text_graphicexceptionalism ~ and, in fairness, so did most Brits and many Americans ~ but we seem to have forgotten that there was a time when a simple sort of patriotism was both in vogue and, I daresay, heartfelt … a time when the best of men were sincere in their love of country and, equally, in their desire to serve it honourably…

… and I think I can say that most of my friends who served with me in the Canadian Armed Forces, and those who serve today, even if they wouldn’t use quite the same words, shared the same ideals: they served “with unhesitating zeal and cheerfulness,” as Wellington said, wherever an often ungrateful government chose to send them and they were happy to serve, asking only, as Nelson said, for some simple recognition of duty done well.

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