Friday, July 15, 2011

Dual Patriotism - Celebrating Canada Day and the 4th

I consider my son to be extremely fortunate in many regards - one of which is his dual citizenship between the United States and Canada

I'm proudly American.  I love this country for its ideals and freedoms, it's beauty, it's melting pot of people, its resilence, its history, and its independence.  I joyously celebrate each 4th of July, reveling in patriotism along with my fellow countrymen.  As a child, the 4th was one of few occasions when my brothers and I were permitted to stay up late.  What child doesn't marvel at the sites and sounds of fireworks and sparklers?!  The 4th of July was completely magical to me!  Fireworks and patriotic songs still manage to give me goosebumps!

My husband is proudly Canadian. He loves Canada's diverse beauty, its  multicultural melting pot of people, its unique culture and customs, its tolerance and freedoms, and its focus on the welfare of its citizens.  Canada Day for him meant an all-day celebration along with his family and friends in his hometown of Ottawa ~ Canada's Capital.  Dressing in red and white, taking in the festivities on Parliament Hill, and partying well after the fireworks were over. 

Our son has the distinct hono(u)r of celebrating both! 

With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate) visiting Ottawa on July 1st for Canada Day this year, we decided it would be a very memorable time to visit.  With estimations of more than 300,000 people in Ottawa, we (bravely) celebrated Canada Day this year on Parliament Hill. 

My son getting a Canadian flag temporary tattoo.
Seeing the Canadian flag being raised that morning amidst a sea of red and white was an amazing and breathtaking event! 

Changing of the guard...

I'm all about dressing for the occasion!  Along with our Canadian t-shirts, I found Canada jibbitz for his crocs (he loves Canadian Mounties)!

I can't begin to convey the excitement of the crowd as we caught our first glimpse of the Duke and Duchess as they approached the Hill in their carriage! 

Here was our view of them once they made their way to the stage.

Canada's Governor General and his wife (left) along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (right).
 Canada's famous Snowbirds flew over so fast, I barely could snap a photo of them - only managing to catch one briefly!  The sound of them and the fighter jets that flew over us was just incredible! 

It was an intensely sunny and hot day to be crammed together with hundreds of thousands of people, but it's an experience I wouldn't trade for the world! 

Prime Minister, Stephen Harper addresses the crowd.

It was so difficult just getting from one place to another in the massive crowd.

There was such an air of excitement throughout the city.  It was so awe-inspiring to see people come together to celebrate their pride and love of their country!

The nighttime show was equally as exciting as we waited for dusk to fall! 

As we made our way back up towards Parliament Hill,
We listened to the musical performers as we waited for the fireworks to begin.

Newfoundland band, Great Big Sea performs for the crowd.
Will and Kate returned for the night show, as well! 
* Holiday Tip: stake out your spot for fireworks in advance. 
 If you aren't sure where they'll be shot off, ask a volunteer or a local for guidance.

It was extra special for my husband to celebrate in his home city along with his son on this very momentous occasion! 

We returned back home in Pennsylvania just in time to celebrate America's Independence Day!

Our plans for the 4th were much more subdued after our trip up north.

We BBQed, went for a bike ride,
and took things easy until it was time to head out to see

Decked out in American patriotism!


* Holiday Tip: buy your own glowsticks well in advance at discount or dollar stores.
I purchase them every year for both celebrations
as opposed to paying a ridiculous, inflated amount at the fireworks venue! 

...and then back home for sparklers and firecrackers in our own backyard,

toasting marshmallows and making s'mores around our firepit!

Contrary to what some believe,  celebrating our patriotism unites us and reminds us to put aside, if even for a day, our differences and quarrels as a nation.  It's a day of pure celebration, a break from the mundane drudgery of life when the sky is aglow with lights and our hearts aglow with pride!

Whichever patriotic holiday you celebrated,
I hope you and your family had a wonderful and safe celebration!


  1. Oh Judy I have been waiting for this post and I loved it! I loved how you wrote about each of you. Your love of your individual countries and its celebrations. I love how you are encouraging your son to celebrate both! I caught your double spelling of hono(u)r too!

    On a girl note, didn't the Duchess look beautiful? I have been following her through her journey in North America.

    The playhouse is adorable! I love how you can make simple decorations really pop!

  2. Wonderful pictures, Judy. Andrew is such a cutie....totally adorable.

    I loved the 4th of July....had a sweet and quiet time...for a change.

    Barb ♥

  3. Judy, great pictures, and it sure looks like you had a wonderful trip. I just love to watch the snowbirds! Andrew is getting so tall! He such a cutie!

  4. Wow! What an incredible day in Canada. It will be so memorable! Super fun pictures too. <3


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