Yesterday was Canada Day.
A couple of tweets were the extent of my celebration. I’m currently travelling in the Land of The Free, and honestly, I just couldn’t be bothered. Who cares if Canada is 150 years old? As much as I preach about patriotism, loving your country, etcetera, I can’t help but to feel like a hypocrite when I speak about my own country. Canada has so betrayed any sense of national identity that I struggle to even find a basic level of maple leaf, maple syrup, moose and beavertails pride.
I own a shirt that says “Canada Proud”.
I’m embarrassed to be seen in public wearing it.
I will always want the best for my country. But until Canadians start caring along with me, en masse, it’s just not an area where I want to waste my time and energy. I wasn’t sad in the least that I missed Canada Day festivities. I would have enjoyed them had I been in Canada (fireworks and food: I like), but there wouldn’t have been any sort of patriotic moment.
Canada Day isn’t about patriotism. It isn’t about national identity. It isn’t about the beautiful words of the national anthem (which had to be changed for gender inclusivity, of course). It isn’t about our Bill of Rights.
Canada Day is about… fireworks and food. Mysteriously, when your only national identity is not having a national identity, no one actually gives a f*ck about celebrating their nation.
And if Americans aren’t careful, Independence Day, too, will be about fireworks and food. Just fireworks and food.
We need that to not happen, so here is my propostion: stop calling Independence Day “The Fourth of July”.
Just stop it.
(I literally did it yesterday, so no judgement from me, but seriously.)
One of my Twitter followers mentioned to me that they thought Americans needed to get back to the name “Independence Day” and the spirit of what independence means. They were right. And since reading that tweet, I’ve been very careful to call “The Fourth of July” what it actually is.
Unlike in Canada, Independence Day is about patriotism. It is about a history shaping moment (Fun fact: Independence Day would have originally been on July 2nd) – and a nation-defining document.
The New York Times included an annotated copy of The Constitution in today’s Sunday Edition. I mean, that’s nice and all, seeing as most Americans seem to have no idea what’s actually in The Constitution, but The Declaration Of Independence would have been far more appropriate for, you know, Independence Day.
It’s no secret that I find the Declaration to be a beautiful document. Unlike anything about Canada Day, reading it gives me chills every time – especially the bit at the end, which I will quote for the second time in a week:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
When I think of Independence Day, I think of those words.
When I think of Independence Day, I think of a nation of patriots that fought for freedom and for liberty.
When I think of Independence Day, I think of the reality that we, too, are in a time where we must fight for the country that we want to live in.
When I see all of the leftist hysteria about how racist and evil America is, and how we shouldn’t celebrate Independence Day because oppression, and how America was built on slavery, and so forth, it only implores me further to be unapologetic about what July 4th means to me (even as a non-American) and to the United States.
I understand that to many, the “Fourth of July” is interchangeable with Independence Day. That may be true, perhaps I am simply being silly about it.
However, quothe the left, “words have power”.
America, especially the millennial component, needs a solid shake from their anti-patriotic, anti-freedom slumber. The US of A may not become Canada in the next fifty years – but keep in mind how much longer America has been around.
And if a country like Canada can take a patriotic, love-of-country conservative like me, and turn me into an indifferent resident of a country I don’t believe in…be concerned.
No freedom is guaranteed.
Love the beer, fireworks, and food. I do.
But don’t forget life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.