I was reading the paper today, and I noticed a few letters to the editor that were responding to something written by a Canadian student about American patriotism and the July 4th celebrations. Although I did not see the original letter, I gathered from the responses that this Canadian was taking a negative view of the Independence Day festivities, citing Americans as being “overly patriotic.”
Well, I am a BYU student from Canada, and I would like to assure everyone that not all Canadians share the opinion of this misguided student. I love Canada, and I am very proud of the contributions our great country has made to the world (and there have been many).
Canada has also fought for freedom and democracy. Much of the world’s food supplies are also grown in Canada. And many medical breakthroughs have been discovered by Canadian researchers. I realize that sometimes Canadians get frustrated that Americans know very little about us, despite the fact that we are such close neighbors, allies and trade partners. But I certainly would not bash Americans for being patriotic and celebrating their country. The United States is a great country, and Americans deserve to be proud of it.
On the 3rd of July, I was in Cougar Stadium with 64,000 other people for the Stadium of Fire show. It was wonderful. I stood when the national anthem was played; I sang along; and I put my hand over my heart. And when the fireworks were going off, while the narrator spoke of America’s history, I felt proud to be here.
I am grateful to be able to come and study in this great land. That doesn’t mean I love Canada any less; but I completely respect the United States, and I am grateful for all it has done to promote the way of life and freedom that I have been able to enjoy. Instead of criticizing Americans for celebrating, I think we should join with them. Let’s be proud of one another, and thankful for what God has blessed us with. As far as I’m concerned, we are all on the same team.