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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Half Mast Day in the USA

Being Canadian but spending much of my time in the USA with my friends I get to appreciate both worlds. We are both very much the same but also so different in many ways.  We appreciate the freedom we are blessed with in both countries, having the ability to travel to and from each country (somewhat easily).  But there are issues I have always found truly amazing when comparing the two countries.

There is no doubt that Americans are far more loud and proud and truly show their love for their country. Spending a lot of my time in Texas, it is quite apparent of the military homes and 'Proud to be American' homes with flags flying.. this is not a common site in Canada. More likely you will find a Canadian Flag being used as a curtain in someones window than flying on a pole.  Growing up in Canada, in elementary school we had to learn the names of all the states and the capitals of each so I have always been blown away when I question an American as to what their neighboring states are and they can't answer or have to really think about it.. are you kidding me, you don't even know the state that borders your own? Granted Texas is a huge state and so it is no wonder people from this state don't do much travelling outside of it because they don't really need to.  They can drive their kids to South Padre Island in the Summer for a vacation, for example, no need to travel outside of the state... but in Canada, unless you live in one of the 6 or so major cities scattered across the country, you are more than likely going to be doing a little bit of travelling and so it is no big deal for me to spend 8 to 10 hours to drive to 'the city'. 

When it comes to holidays, both countries honour their fallen soldiers with Armistice Day, Flag Day, Remembrance Day, Memorial Day and of course any time a major incident by flying the flags at half mast. So it comes as no surprise that on this day, September 11, the flags are all flying at half mast. But here is where I kind of shake my head..wait a minute.. we are supposed to remember that tragic day by this gesture, but what about the soldiers that continue to give their lives on a daily basis for the ongoing battles in countries that are not our own?  Why does this flag suddenly appear only at half mast when it is 'an event'? I would think we want to keep this flying at half mast until all those in harms way are there no longer. Instead we find those less fortunate wondering the big city intersections holding a sign for food/money and if you are kind enough to stop and donate something and spend some time talking with them you will learn that most of them have already served time as a soldier, doing their part in protecting us... where is their flag?