Hi everyone,

Several of you inspired me to make the decision to share what I'm
about to with you. Evelyn, you were one who moved me with a
healthy shove because I found myself choking up at your story. It's
beautiful and it speaks to the heart of all *Americans*, and I've
emphasized *Americans* because America is really all of the North
and South American continents.

I believe in the goodness that lies within all people, and you were
especially blessed to find this to be the case.

In the United States of America, Flag Day is celebrated on 14 June,
as I recall, kind of an irony when we consider how much of an
impact the tattered flag over Fort McHenry, Baltimore, made at
least in the heart of Francis Scott Key.

In my first book, _Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: Meeting the
Challenge of Our Multicultural America & Beyond_ (Caddo Gap
Press, 1996), I wrote something I'd like to share with you about
Canada Day and American Independence Day because it has
a little trivia about these two days and a couple of suggestions
some of you might want to consider for next year either with
family, friends or even with the company where your spouse or
you might work:

"At one time or another during the year, dazzling displays light
the night skies of cities around the world, thanks to the Chinese
invention of fireworks. Gala pyrotechnic shows paint the skies
over the majority of cities across the United States as part of a
national July 4 birthday celebration.

"But the United States is far from alone in celebrating a national
day of independence. Canada's Canada Day, for instance, the
equivalent of American Independence Day, falls on July 1. As a
result, around July 1, the party--with more than 100 free events,
parades and performances--begins for the International Freedom
Festival, honoring the long-lasting friendship between the United
States of America and Canada. Halfway through this two-nation,
two-week long monumental birthday party, more than 3500
fireworks fill the skies with the largest annual continental--and
maybe the world's largest--display of color. More than 3,000,000
people have visited the festival each year since its 1959 inception.
Held on the Detroit River, between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor,
Ontario, Canada, the event was first created to honor Queen
Elizabeth II on her historic visit to Windsor. Promoters say this is
the world's most extensive trans-border festival.

"Plan joint picnics for two organizations, corporations, or
communities. Be creative in developing the day's fun events,
planning two events into games wherever realistically possible--
for instance, a baseball game *and* a soccer game. Remember,
America's soccer is internationally called football! Make efforts
to establish relationships with Canadian organizations, corporations
or communities of similar size and composition. Ideally, both sides
should strive to share successful and positive methods and ideas.

"Modify and use the organizational concept with two families or
neighborhoods. Establish a relationship and share ideas.
Research to learn more about the cultures and lifestyles of other
nations. Then adapt similar Independence Day plans with
organizations and communities in other nations."

Those of you who have the Union Jack as your national flag can
tell me perhaps whether there is more red or more blue in the
flag. I never can remember! lol I was thinking that it shouldn't
be too difficult to create the Union Jack on a cake in much the
same way you would use the USA flag with blueberries and
strawberries. But you might also consider, and perhaps it
would be easier, making a cake with the maple leaf as the
focal point of the cake.

Homeschooling families can also expand on the idea I noted
above by integrating the international celebrations into the
lessons. .

If you're celebrating Canada Day today, or Independence
Day on Thursday, have a very happy and safe holiday.

Michelle (Y. in upstate New York)

From: Michelle Young <magwrit1@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon Jul 1, 2002 4:24 am
Subject: Flag Day/Canada Day, and US Independence Day