Friday, 1 July 2011

Canada Turns 144!

As people all over the country get together to celebrate as only Canadians can citizens in Ottawa, Ontario get together in celebration early this year. 

 For the past week all news has been about the royal couples' visit to Canada, their first stop in Ottawa to partake in Canada Day celebrations. For all those who read my post a few months back about the royal wedding you know how I adore the fairytale romance. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear that the couple I have come to love and shriek over were going to be in my town staying at the Governor General's estate which just happens to be in my neighbourhood! I was planning to go and see them on Parliament Hill on Canada Day, but I have never been one for crowds and figured I'd barely get a glimpse anyway. For anyone who has heard of or experienced a Canada Day in downtown Ottawa you know the craziness - throw in a prince and princess and you have the makings of utter chaos.

 Now imagine my sheer excitement when my mom called me early at work today to let me know that William and Kate were coming into Ottawa at 2pm and would be going downtown to the war memorial across from the Chateau Laurier for their first stop. They were there to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier and speak with a number of war veterans who were present.

I work downtown on Sparks st. right near Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier, the Canal and the NAC, all landmarks of our Nation's Capital. So, I took off work early and hustled down there at about 1pm and stood in a crowd with tons of other people to catch a glimpse. I never thought I'd get to be as close as I was but luck was on my side because I snuck in with two women and their kids and got to see Kate when she stood not five feet away from me and boy is she beautiful up close. Prince William, unfortunately was on the opposite side from where I stood, shaking hands with the public so all the pictures I got were of the back of his head (not the best angle for a few reasons :p). But I exchanged emails with the woman standing beside me who'd been waiting with her two little kids since 11am, she got the great pics of William while I got the great ones of Kate. 

So folks, it was an exciting experience that can't compare to anything else. A once in a lifetime memory to share a moment with tons of Canadians from all over the country who came down to share in the excitement and joy.
Aside from the chills I got after seeing the royal couple, this experience seriously made me proud to be Canadian. We are a friendly, polite and sincerely devoted bunch of people who, when we all get together to share a moment prove what it means to be patriotic

Above just the unreality of getting to see these two in person, what got me was the moment the war veterans made their way up to the memorial. A hush fell over the gathered crowd before a resounding round of applause broke out. I never thought I'd be so moved, but tears sprang to my eyes to see the gathered veterans walk up the aisle to the smiles and cheers of fellow Canadians. 

So, this year especially I wish everyone a very Happy Canada Day and hope that wherever you're celebrating you take a moment to remember our shared story- past, present and future and all that it means to be a part of this great nation. 

That's William near the gate! Squint and you'll see lol
The war memorial and red carpet


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