Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A Canadian in America on Canada Day

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Happy Canada Day!

It’s a beautiful day to have a BBQ and set off some fireworks and celebrate Canada Day. I already started the day off with a nice rendition of O Canada and had Shreddies for breakfast. Maybe later I’ll have some all-dressed chips and a Caramilk. (Thanks to my mom who sends me Canadian care packages. Love you Mom!)

Being a Canadian living in the United States, I think I have the best of both worlds. I love the country I grew up in, and I love the country I live in. My children get to learn about their Canadian heritage and what Canada has contributed to the world and to their lives, and they also get to learn the role that the United States plays in the world and the big heart, the great opportunities, and patriotic spirit that the United States has to offer. I love the way our two countries help each other, and while we have different politics and ways of doing things, the United States and Canada are like brothers---when the chips are down, we’re there for each other no matter what.

Let me illustrate a little what I mean. Now most of you know I like to write international romantic suspense. There is one incident I’ve been researching lately, unofficially called the Canadian Caper, but as I’ve researched, something has been coming back to me over and over. Let me tell you about the incident in a nutshell. In November of 1979, Iranians stormed the United States embassy in Tehran, Iran and embassy personnel were taken hostage. Three diplomats and one American (who was at the embassy getting his visa fixed), were in outbuildings at the Embassy and were able to escape. Several of them (including two spouses of the diplomats) made their way to the Canadian embassy and were given sanctuary there. But the problem was, how to get them out of Iran. The Canadian Prime Minister was contacted and they agreed to a covert mission to smuggle the Americans out of Iran using Canadian passports. So the Canadian government provided the endangered Americans with passports, and the American CIA provided them with forged Iranian visas. The CIA and the Canadian government worked closely on an escape plan, but would the plan work?

It did work and the diplomats arrived in Zurich, Switzerland safely. But to me, something has resonated as I’ve learned more about what happened. In my opinion, there’s so much more to this incident than a possible novel storyline. This event in history shows to me how the Americans and the Canadians work together, and they work together well---one provides the passports, one provides the visas. One provides the escape plan, one provides a disguise and exfiltration expert. It is a small microcosm of how these two countries have interacted over the years. When disaster has struck, both countries have been there to help each other. When one is threatened, the other stands beside them. When times are good, both countries benefit. When times are bad, they join hands and weather it together. Canada and the United States share the longest border in the world---which border separates them as two separate countries and yet binds them together when the need calls for it.

Please don’t misunderstand my intent of this blog. I don’t want to bring any politics here, or any feelings of “my country (whether it be Canada or the U.S.) is better than yours.” My only intent is to point out that today, on Canada Day, I am very grateful to be a Canadian living in the U.S. It is a privilege I cherish and I truly believe in my heart that I have the best of both worlds.


At 7/01/2010 12:11 PM, Blogger Jolene said...

Great post, I live in Alaska and ALL the cousins on my mom's side (except for the one canadian who joined the US Marines - yes you can do that) live in Yukon Territory and British Columbia. It is a very cool thing. We're back and forth a LOT.

At 7/01/2010 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Macintosh Toffee. Salt and Vinegar Chips. Coffee Crisp. Hoser. About. Eh?

Did you hear the one about the Canadian tuke? During the millenium computer re-set clock scare, the Canadians sole white tukes (winter head caps) with the word "eh" sewn into the front which made them a:

White Tuke eh?

However, if you say it really fast it comes out as:


We got a kick out of it.

Happy Oh Canada Day!

At 7/01/2010 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post!

And a hearty "Happy Canada Day" to you, our North American brethren!

At 7/01/2010 3:00 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

Interesting, Julie. My grandparents (Hansen), mom's parents, were born in Alpine, UT and are buried in beautiful B.C., Canada. Grandpa had a dream of living in Canada and pursued it. Of course, we grandchildren went to visit often and our introduction to hockey made us aware of the greatness of Canada.

O Canada!

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Ô Canada!

Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Just thought I'd through in the French version.


At 7/01/2010 9:44 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Happy Canada Day. Like you, I grew up with a touch of both countries. My father was an American, but grew up in Canada. He left there at the age of 26 and I was born in the USA. I'm very proud to be an American, but I'll always have a soft spot for our neighbor to the north.

At 7/01/2010 9:48 PM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

Happy Canada Day! Glad to hear you got to enjoy your Canadina treats for the holiday. We'll be on our way to the fireworks later tonight.


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