Now, certainly, a goose may not be the first thing that we think of when we consider a great and wonderful nation.....
....So please, allow me to explain:
Every late autumn and every early spring, when I look to the sky to see and hear Snow and Canadian Geese making their way Southward or Northward, I think about Canada!
Canada, where my maternal Grandfather and his parents immigrated from Germany to make their home near the shores of Lake Ontario.
Canada, where I have so many dear and wonderful friends.
And Canada, whose beautiful flag brings a smile to my face and a true sense of pride to my heart whenever I see it, because I know that through my veins also flows a bit of good old Canadian blood.
Canada...the nation whose citizens, without a moment's hesitation, opened up their homes, hearts, and pocketbooks to aid all those citizens of the US and other countries on that terrible and disastrous day of September 11, 2001. And since 2002, Canada has provided an unparalleled array of military, medical,health, civil construction, and educational contributions to the efforts in Afghanistan.
During the Vietnam era, Canadian citizens voluntarily joined the United States forces to fight alongside their US neighbors, friends, and relatives. These brave men and women did not need to do those things, but they did them anyway! And in doing so, many made the ultimate sacrifice for their brave actions.....
One such brave soldier was a young man named John Austin Anderson, from Ontario, who, in 1967, went down to New York State and enlisted in the US Army. John and I did not meet until we both wound up in Vietnam in the same platoon. John was a kind and unselfish guy and during the short time that I knew him we became friends. But John never retuned home from Vietnam. On May 13, 1968, John Austin Anderson was killed in a fierce ambush, alongside many other members of my platoon high atop a remote mountain near the Cambodian border.
So, absolutely, when I see that Maple Leaf flag or hear those geese flying overhead, I look to the sky and I think of all my friends and relatives in Canada and I especially think - each and every time - of John, his family, and his homeland. Canada: Beautiful, wonderful, full of grace and pride!
Speaking of pride, some may ask of me, am I not proud of my own country, the United States? My response would be: 'Well, first of all, I am sorry that you feel you have to ask. I am a Vietnam Veteran and proud of it. I am very proud to have served and I am most certainly proud of my country and all the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we might enjoy ours. And many of those brave soldiers were from Canada!"
To me, it is only right that I pay tribute because I strongly believe that two great nations, such as ours, can only grow safer and stronger through continued understanding, companionship, and love.
So, if I may, please allow me to wish everyone a very wonderful Canada Day! Thank you for all that you do, and thank you for who and what you are.
May God Bless you all!
** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"
- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)
- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.
::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
EARTH WIND AND FIRE;
"HOLD ON TO YOUR SPIRIT,
ALWAYS FEEL YOUR SOUL....
HONOR THE MAGIC IN YOUR HEART"; Earth Wind and Fire