Today, July 1st, Canada Day is normally a day of celebration of nationhood, a day marking the founding of Canada as a nation in 1867 and to note of the many achievements that this country has brought to the world over the course of the years that have followed.
This land one that remains a destination for many around the world who are seeking a better life, a nation where they can live a life of safety and freedom in a thriving democracy.
Ours is a country that has received millions through its history and continues to this day to welcome more who wish to contribute to Canada's ongoing evolution.
However the normal spirt of that celebration has been muted this year, the day now one that rightly includes much in the way of reflection on the nation's past that also included horrific measures directed at Indigenous peoples.
The day providing for an opportunity to continue a dialogue towards building a better nation while attending to a past that is demanding actions from governments that have for far too long ignored the call to do what needs to be done.
Locally, the usual festival that would be held at Mariner's Park was cancelled, the past COVID measures having put the event on hold weeks ago, though one senses that there was no real enthusiasm to ramp things up as those measures were scaled back and then eliminated in recent weeks.
When it comes to any public gathering the day has been one that has found many in the community joining together in memory of those who died at Residential Schools and in support of the survivors of those schools and the families that still await word of their ancestors and closure on a horrible period of time.
A number of events began just after the noon hour and will continue on through this afternoon at the Waterfront. that location making for the focus on remembrance of those that suffered and died as part of the terrible past of the residential schools period.
The dialogue will continue in the months to come to ensure that as a nation we resolve to address those concerns and provide comfort and assistance to those that continue in hurt.
Canadians on the whole, at least the Canada I know of, are a people who wish to to do the right thing and understand the work that will be required to address the many challenges we face, it's up to all of our levels of government to catch up to the will of the nation.
The path ahead will also offer a chance to take the initiative to renew our commitment towards improving our nation; a land which will attend to the call to address its past, but still remains a place among the nations of the world with much potential for the future.