(File Photo)

(File Photo)

LOUIS: A question of celebration

Happy Canada Day, Agassiz-Harrison!

While there’s a lot going on in the world, I think it’s important to remember that there’s still so much to celebrate about the wonderful land we call home. The land itself that we care for is among the most beautiful on the planet, particularly in B.C. The country is consistently rated among the highest in terms of freedom, despite what a few naysayers might tell you. During disaster and disease these past couple years, we’ve seen a majority of Canadians band together to help each other recover and rebuild, and I think that speaks to the character of Canada and its people. Speaking as an American expat, I consider it an honour and privilege to call Canada my home.

While this is all true, it can be a challenge to feel good about flying the Canadian flag this year or, for some people, any year. You may find yourself condemning something the government has done or neglected to do in this rather polarizing time in history or deep in our past. Perhaps you’ve seen the Canadian flag associated with a fringe movement that has made you think twice about what the flag means.

Looking at my homeland’s Stars and Stripes, I find myself feeling that way about both the Canadian and American flags. In recent years, the star-spangled banner, too, has been and continues to be weaponized and vandalized to push fringe agendas and laws against the greater good. This doesn’t even touch on the awful things that have been done under the flag at home and abroad in the not-too-distant past.

You don’t have to fly a Canadian flag to love your country or to love everything Canada can be. You don’t have to love everything about the flag or what it symbolizes to celebrate Canada Day. You can love what Canada could be while still wanting it to be better than it is now.

For a variety of reasons, you may choose not to celebrate Canada Day at all, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Whether you choose to celebrate Canada Day or simply enjoy July 1 for what it is, I would encourage you to take some time and enjoy this summer weekend. We’re all tired, anxious and experiencing varying degrees of anger, given everything we’ve been through in the past two years alone. I think it’s okay to let ourselves take a deep breath of that fresh British Columbian air, feel the sun on our skin and live in the moment.

Canada Day or not, may your grills always be hot, your drinks always be icy and the company you keep always be enjoyable. Take care of yourselves this weekend.