Sunday, October 26, 2014

O Canada, We Stand on Guard Alongside Thee

On Wednesday October 22, there was no Canadian team present, but my Pittsburgh Penguins opened their NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers with the singing of “O Canada” following the terrible deadly shooting in Ottawa and the storming of Parliament Hill earlier in the day.

Very classy gesture, Pens, I thought. Then I watched as the dreaded Flyers beat up on the Pens. My publisher is in the Philly area, so I’m sure he loved the game. I won’t hold it against you, Gio.

To be honest, I didn’t think any more about the game or national anthem until the next day when a groundswell of Canadian gratitude started flowing back.   

The appreciation stretched across Canada: comments from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canadian talk radio, newspaper coverage, and simple comments from ordinary Canadian citizens.    

I think Michael Platt of the Calgary Sun captured the essence of the moment beautifully.
“On a day that shook Canada’s sense of security, hearing O Canada before Wednesday night’s game between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers was something this entire country needed, if only to be reassured we weren’t alone in the world.

It was like receiving a sympathetic hug from a good friend.”  

Click here.

Canada, you are not, and never will be, alone. We will always stand at your side.

Wednesday reminded me that we are more than just two bordering countries. We are neighbors, chatting over the hedge and inviting each other over for dinner. We are indeed friends. Wednesday also made me truly proud to be a Pittsburgher as well as a Pens fan.. 

Now if we can only get a Tim Hortons down here! That would do a lot for world peace. :-)

So here’s to Don, Laura, Paul, and Dawn in Vancouver Island, BC; Murray in Pincher Creek, Alberta; Tracy in Tumbler Ridge, BC, and my coworker, Tony, living in BC. I am so glad I know you. My thoughts and prayers are always with you.

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