By Andrea Arnold, Associate editor/reporter

In my view, Canada Day is a day to remember that we are a nation. Not that we are perfect. We have baggage. In the last few years more unsavory aspects of Canadian history have come to light. The current situation is not perfect for many of our country’s residents.

Due to these baggage items, I have heard that some people have decided to stop celebrating. Personally, I don’t agree with that action. I see Canada Day as a way to celebrate that we are a nation of unique individuals. It can be used as a way to unite and possibly, a platform to begin positive changes, and to start with a fresh perspective. The day can also be used as a peaceful way to educate communities on local history, creating a broader knowledge base.

I do not think there is anyone out there who has not been given a second chance at something. We are human, and we have all made legal, relationship, moral, and/or personal, mistakes. Sometimes the ramifications of our actions reach further than we know.

There is hard work, persistence and lots of grace involved as change happens. There needs to be cheerleaders, not just standing on the sidelines but in the trenches, helping the change happen, and celebrating each milestone.

Why shouldn’t we view Canada the same way? Mistakes have been made, and will continue to be made, because those in charge are human. Some of these people are no longer alive, leaving others to figure out how to move forward and paying the price.  Making changes, and making amends is not a quick process. As small changes are made, and actions taken to right the wrongs in history, we as a country, can show that we support the steps taken, (or that we believe some other action is needed).

To me, Canada Day is an opportunity to gather once a year, to celebrate our uniqueness,  the freedoms that we have, the progress of the previous year, and envision what could be if we work together.