At my age ‘Dominion Day‘ still sounds more correct, but we, Canadians, must all be proud to celebrate 151 years of an improbable and often very difficult existence as a free, democratic, liberal state:
I well remember the bruising flag debates of the 1960s and the many more, recent, debates about our heritage and the nature of our, peculiar nation-state.
I also remember going from Canada, in the late spring of 1967, to join my battalion (2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment) near Soest, in (then) West Germany. As we approached the battalion’s camp, Fort York, down near the famous Möhnesee, I saw our (then) new flag in a new light. Now, I had been overseas before, but under the old red ensign and a UN banner and I was comfortable with the symbolism that said ‘several cultures joined into one state,’ but, as we approached the Canadian camp I saw the flag, first, and for the first time I felt a stirring of a new national pride. We were not just English and French and Scots-Irish ‘warring in the bosom of a single state’ we were Canadians, standing up for Canada in the world.
I meant something then, it means something now.