Happy Canada Day everyone! As we celebrate today and what it means, I thought I would tell you what this day means to me!
But first I want to give a shout out to all the men and women of our armed forces that are serving our great country, many of you are spread around the world and your service to our country is appreciated.
As a country of immigrants each of us can bring different thoughts to the discussion of what it means to be Canadian, and what we are thankful of to live in such a great country.
For myself, some of my proudest moments are serving my country during my time as a younger man in our military, and when I founded The Canadian Heroes Foundation on Remembrance Day almost 10 years ago.
I also have very fond memories of welcoming the refugees from Kosovo last century ( I sound old eh? ) this was a life changing event not just for them but me also, I often told them I took more out of it than they did!
When we accepted over 600 of them in Hamilton as our allotment it was a moment that we as a City were not ready to handle all of their needs, and was a huge educational moment for me as I learned very fast what there customs, needs and wants were and spent about 6 months non stop with them and getting them settled. Many tears were shed together, and this was a very proud moment to be Canadian, what a honour this was for me and our country. Months turned to years as I sponsored several families but basically adopted all 600 of them that Friday night when I rolled into the old City Motor Hotel in Hamilton.
When our country responded to the war in Afghanistan I also had the extreme honour of welcoming home our heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice as I attended the coroners office in Toronto to greet the families and our heroes returning down the Highway Of Heroes. This continued for years and I also had the honour on planning two repatriations, sad events but also a very proud time for all Canadians, there is no greater honour than honouring our war dead.
Each of us has there own way of celebrating this special day and this countries future is the responsibility of each and every one of us, it is a work in progress and as a citizen of this great country it is also your duty.
If you are looking for a way to say thank-you today visit your local cemetery and find the veterans section and plant a Canadian flag on a grave and give thanks for their service and sacrifice.
Happy Canada Day.