I said I was going to write something to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday today, but I'm kind of stuck.
See, everything that should be said has been said -- and far more eloquently and at far greater lengths than I ever could. So I'll just hit some high -- and low -- points.
We so-called "Found-Ins" are all descendants of immigrants. Most of us get that -- ask the Syrian refugees or Vietnamese Boat People about the reception they got when they fled here.
We have a former diplomat and later prime minister (Lester Pearson) who was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for coming up with the entire peacekeeping concept during the Suez Crisis and that we've (mostly) kept it up ever since.
In peace and war, our military has acquitted itself with distinction in whatever role it's had since ... well, since forever, it seems. Plus, just this week, a Canadian infantry captain was the first woman to lead the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace (the British don't permit women in infantry regiments; Canada has done so for something like 20 years.)
We have some of the grandest nature on offer anywhere (and a sense of humour to go with it). Just listen to the lyrics of the song above (and watch the video). Sense of humour? With place names like Moosejaw, Marrowbone and my favourite, Dildo, how not?
Where I live, I'm closer to the Equator than the North Pole (roughly 4,685 km and 5,317 km respectively).
Astonishing, that, for a country whose unofficial Quebec anthem is "Mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver" ("My country is not a country, it's winter"). Not to mention having the second coldest capital city in the world, after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Our parliamentary sergeant-at-arms, who normally goes through the day unarmed, heard gunshots in the building, calmly went to his office for a side-arm, and just as calmly hunted down the intruder (who had murdered a soldier on duty at the nearby Tomb of the Unknown) and shot him dead.
For all that we can pat our collective back today, though, it's also worth remembering that we sometimes get things horribly wrong.
Witness our historic and current mistreatment of First Nations peoples -- the real "Found-Ins" -- or ask the families of the six Muslim men murdered at prayer by an ethnic Quebecois.
Or the fact that tens of thousands of Chinese were imported as little more than slave labour to build the transcontinental railroad through the Rockies. Thousands died -- no one knows how many -- and their long-term reward was the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Or that during the hysteria surrounding the outbreak of the Second War, coastal people of Japanese descent were rounded up, their property and fishing boats and businesses confiscated by government and sold at fire sale prices to West Coast greedheads.
Or that there were, well into the 1950s, "Sundown" bylaws in some places to make sure African Canadian and other visible minorities were out of town by nightfall.
So yes, by all means let's celebrate that Canada is "Something to sing about/Tune up a string about" -- but just because we're consistently rated among the top three countries in the world in which to live, let's also never forget that we aren't perfect.
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Lester Pearson: