Later today I will leave for a holiday in the United States. At a time when many Canadians would boycott the United states, I will not. No matter what the President says, or how the Prime Minister responds, Canada and the United States are neighbours (We are neighbors, if you’re American.) More than that, we have been friends, friends for a long time, and nothing will easily change that for me. If my mother could not convince me to abandon certain friends at 16, no politician that I don’t even know will convince me at 64.
For anyone else looking to remind themselves of Canada’s friendship with the United States, I have a few books to recommend:
1. With Faith and Goodwill: 150 Years of Canada – U.S. Friendship edited by Arthur Milnes: This book is a collection of speeches, mostly by Presidents or Prime Ministers, focusing on the Canada – U.S. relationship. The analysis is minimal, but this is a fabulous archive with speeches from the 19th century right up until the present day.
2. Between Friends/Entre Amis edited by Lorraine Monk. This volume was published in 1976 in Canada to celebrate America’s bicentennial. This book earned critical acclaim at the time it was published but it is presently out of print. It can be borrowed through public libraries – it has the most amazing photographs.
3. For a lighthearted look at our shared border, I don’t recommend a book but a YouTube video: Bizarre Borders Part 2. I think you’ll find the description of the “no touching zone” as funny as I did.
While on my travels next week, a couple of books and friendly Americans will be my reminder that going to the United States is like going to visit an old friend. Our 8,000 kilometre (5,000 mile) border is the most peaceful in the world, as Winston Churchill said:
“That long frontier from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, guarded only by neighbourly respect and honourable obligations, is an example to every country and a pattern for the future of the world.”