This year I will be celebrating Canada Day in the Maritime Islands. Air Canada had a wonderful seat offer for Mother’s Day and I couldn’t resist!

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island is known as the birthplace of Canada. From September 1 to September 9, 1864 meetings were held to discuss the possibility of Confederation. Originally, the only people to participate were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. These three hoped to have more political and economic independence from England, as well as military power considering the American Civil War.

Newfoundland and the province of Canada, which at the time consisted of Ontario and Quebec, also wanted to participate in the talks that the maritime provinces planned and thus joined.

A big problem occurred when a circus was in Charlottetown during the same conference days. This attracted a lot of attention, filled lodgings, and limited Warf’s staff. As a result, many delegates had to stay on the ship that brought them or be transported to shore in a rowboat.

Talks that began with a handful of delegates led to the Confederacy three years later in 1867.

I think it will be fun to attend some of the historical tours and plays that will tell the history of our nation. PEI has apparently developed its tourist attractions with this in mind.

Throughout my school days we sing “O Canada” and “God Save the Queen” every morning, followed by the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. They taught us to stand upright like soldiers without moving with our arms stretched out to our sides and our eyes looking straight ahead. We sing with great pride and gratitude. The same occurred at community gatherings, ceremonial services, and sporting events.

Today I am sad when the national anthem is conspicuously absent from our meetings. Sometimes I realize that I am one of the few who is actually singing the words. I see athletes chewing gum, gaping and crowds starting to move and cheer before we get to the last line! That’s sad!

This year, Canada Day is on a Sunday, so unless you are a shift worker, you will have plenty of time to honor our country.

You plan to do? Will you stand up in front of your family and proudly sing the entire song while “putting yourself on guard”? Will you hang a Canadian flag on your property? Will you read a book about the Confederacy or do an internet search to learn about the people who built our country?

Canada Day is much more than a holiday from work. It is an opportunity to recognize that we live in one of the best countries in the world where each day is filled with peace, freedom and blessings.

As a country, we are still young, but we can be proud of the way we have grown and matured.

Happy Birthday Canada. This year you are 151 years old and I will be in your birthplace!

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