As the big day for our country approaches, it's a time for thoughtful analysis of where we stand.
We've had gay marriage for a few years now and the sky hasn't fallen and everyone's okay with that.
Most Canadians are glad we didn't join the Iraq war, although our military's senior officers were obviously chomping at the bit so much that they sent our soldiers in on "training" missions.
I used to be very patriotic. Canada was the one, true, great benevolent force in the world. We were the peacekeepers, the diplomats, the kind and generous folk that only ever used its military to defend the weak from the strong and keep violence at bay.
I began to realize, sometime after leaving university, that patriotism is a scam. By all means love your country and protect it from scoundrels, but know that most of the scoundrels wrap themselves in your flag to protect themselves from criticism. You can pretend that only American politicians do this but I've watched Harper and O'Connor hide behind the flag while they ordered our soldiers to illegally hand over prisoners. Criticism of governmental policy was intentionally misconstrued as unpatriotic criticism of the soldiers who have sworn to defend us with their lives.
I do support our soldiers. I support them by frankly examining every mission on which they are sent to ensure that their noble service and sacrifice is used morally. And when it isn't, I support them by demanding of the government that the mission end and the soldiers come home. To me, that's patriotism.
Patriotism isn't putting maple leaf blinders over your eyes and banging a big Canadian drum. Patriotism can mean taking unpopular views and standing up for them for the sake of your country's morality.
Can somebody find me a bumper magnet that says, "Support our Troops: Bring them Home!" I'd pay for that.
Tomorrow I'll drink my locally made Canadian beer, eat my local Canadian beef burger covered in (probably genetically modified) locally grown tomatoes. I'll very likely wear one of those Canadian flag t-shirts I still have from back in University. That's because I'm having a party. Don't think it's because I'm one of those blind, deaf morons who likes to shout, "My country, right or wrong!".