Our Home and Native Land
As I watch the final rays of a golden Prairie sunset glistening on the hoarfrost of the trees, I am moved to tears at the breathtaking splendour of this beautiful piece of Canada. I know that somewhere else in this land someone is in awe at the sight before them. From the West Coast to the East Coast, it is a collage of beauty. (These 10 attractions prove why Canada is the world’s most beautiful country.)
I am a third-generation Canadian and to say that I love this country would be an understatement. It is not just the beauty of Canada alone, however; it is the core of the country that I love as well. Canada’s heart and soul has its roots in the generations gone before us and it leaves in my being a deep, intense feeling of gratitude for those who forged their way in a new country.
I think of my English grandmother and great-grandmother who arrived in northern Ontario in 1910 in 40°F weather. They were wearing felt slippers and sweaters and were met by my great-grandfather, who was to die soon after, leaving them destitute and enduring unbelievable hardships.
They remained in this country, which was so vast and different from the England they had left. My grandmother would in time marry my grandfather, a Canadian, and bring a generation of hard-working, patriotic, honest people into the world. Grandfather served in the First World War and came home a changed man who struggled the rest of his years. But even as he struggled, he served again as a reservist during the Second World War.
My heart beats with a fierce patriotism every Remembrance Day and my emotions well up, leaving my voice trembling during the national anthem at our local Remembrance Day service. I think of the horrors that my grandfather endured in the First World War as I watch with pride while my son and daughter lay a wreath in his memory. (On Nov. 11, help children imagine the bravery of those who serve their country with these three simple tips.)
I think of my uncles who served in the Second World War and of another who did not return and never met his third son. He lies in a cemetery in Ortona, Italy. I have the telegram that my mother received from her sister, which simply read, “Jimmy killed in action.” He was one of many Canadians who fought and died for this country I love.
After being missing for seven decades, this Canadian soldier is finally laid to rest.