I’ve spent numerous summers abroad and missed Canada Day (July 1st) probably close to a dozen times. However, this year I felt particularly unpatriotic despite singing O Canada in the Union Oyster House with some random Canadians from Kingston who were in Boston for the weekend. However, after spending a few days in Boston as a tourist, I couldn’t help but become ensconced in feelings of American patriotism, feeling proud of America and its accomplishments, and a deep sympathy for its fallen heros.
While watching a tribute to the Kennedy brothers during the Boston Pops July 4th celebrations, I recalled JFK’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. Ruminating on this during the concert, I realized that while I failed to celebrate Canada Day as a Canadian, I was going to celebrate Independence Day as an American. While being no more an American national than JFK a German, on July 4th, everyone is an American and (almost) everyone on American soil can enjoy (what now passes for) freedom in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Perhaps instead of keeping terrorists out of the country at great expense, they should be welcomed with open arms into the country, at least as visitors— maybe to Boston, patriotic city of cities — for the Fourth of July to experience what it is to be American. A New Yorker with whom I shared this thought during the intermission said to me that “this will never work”; that “terrorists do not think like you and [I]”. But are not terrorists human? To deny that is to deny one of the founding principles of that nation: that all men are created equal.
A few years ago, Jorge mentioned a Flash program to me called September 12th in which one fights terrorism by killing terrorists; for each terrorist killed… well, if you have Shockwave installed, see for yourself.