As a young lad my father took us on a rare family vacation to visit our American cousins in Nebraska and Colorado. It was an impressionable experience for me as an 8 year old boy. We had never seen fireworks before and were mesmerized by the 4th of July celebrations, the Colorado Rockies and the wonders of Yellowstone National Park. Those memories gave me the beginnings of my American experience.
Later I pursued my university education down in the US and continued to admire American patriotism and the spirit of freedom. Canadians had never fought for their freedom and were somewhat indifferent to their rights and responsibilites as citizens. A centralized government had free rein to dictate dogma and change laws. No real checks and balances were in place. In particular when I was a young student, I remember an arrogant Pierre Trudeau, as prime minister, could overrule the will of the people on such critical issues as the metric conversion, gun ownership and the death penalty. His charisma and arrogance ruled the country. He behaved like a dictator, even swearing obscenities in parliament, giving the finger to protesting western farmers and doing a pirouette behind the back of a visiting Queen Elizabeth.
On the other hand, my admiration for the Canadian mounties began as a lad attending school next to the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment. The mounties would come and go in their brown serges and breeches, dress regulations at that time. During my high school years, a newspaper article about their training helped to cement that desire. Six months of basic recruit training at the RCMP Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan began that experience. My dream posting was realized when I received notice that I would be going to Sidney, near Victoria on Vancouver Island. (See related article) After serving for 9 years in various postings around British Columbia that included Sidney, Midway and Burnaby, I took an educational leave of absence and decided to pursue additional graduate studies south of the Canadian border. Eventially business opportunities and pursuits enticed me to remain in the US as a financial advisor, first with Wachovia Securities and now with Smith Barney.
Today, those business pursuits and dreams have also grown into the George Washington Inn, LLC., a bed and breakfast, lavender farm and coffee wholesaler located between Sequim and Port Angeles, where others have the opportunity to share in the beauty and majesty of God’s handiwork, and to reflect on the faith and legacy of our founding father, George Washington.
My American dream is more complete now, knowing that for 10 successive generations my family has made its American journey in this land of opportunity. My father proudly became registered as an American at 80 years of age and his son now at 53 years of age. Two subsequent generations of our family have followed in this American commitment. We now have the sacred obligation to defend our freedom and keep our nation strong.