The big day soon will be upon us: the anniversary of the birth of a nation 150 years ago.
Our country has come a long way since the British colonies known as the Province of Canada (formerly Upper and Lower Canada), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick came together to form the Dominion of Canada—which now stretches from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as almost to the North Pole.
Certainly compared to European countries, Canada is relatively young at 150 (we're even 91 years younger than our neighbour to the south). Yet despite our fair share of growing pains over the years, Canada has emerged as a country both admired and respected around the world.
We have made our mark militarily in helping shoulder the burden of the fight against tyranny in two world wars, and more recently to combat the threat of terror. But we also are renowned for our role as peacekeepers in many volatile regions of the globe.
Canada's contributions to the world also extend to diplomacy, advancements in science, as well as in literature, art, music, athletics, and entertainment.
Perhaps our greatest achievement, though, is a reputation as a peaceable country where diversity is a strength; an example to the rest of the world of how people from different racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds can live and work together towards a common goal and ideal that is Canada.
We are not perfect, of course. We are no utopia just yet. But in seeing so many other countries wracked by war, famine, disease, or recurring natural disasters, we truly are blessed to live in such a beautiful and bountiful land.
As we mark 150 years as a country on July 1, take the time to reflect on those who forged the foundation of our nation before us and resolve to carry on their legacy.
Most important, be sure to celebrate how lucky we are to call Canada home.