Commentary: Two Nations, Two National Days, One Perspective

Rogers Centre 7
Photo by Randy Stern

Fireworks, tradition and patriotism – our National Days are here!

In Canada, the celebration of the formation of the Confederation based on the British North America Act brings the nation together. Despite lingering differences across the country, Canada celebrates its day with full fervor – and, this year, a three-day weekend.

In the middle of the week is Independence Day – the official national day for the United States of America. The Founding Fathers and their friends signed off on a long letter to British Monarchy stating its declaration of self-rule and sovereignty – one of many firsts in the new era of global politics. As a hugely patriotic nation, we do this day up without shame or guilt. We go all out with the celebration of the day – before going back to work the next day.

While our two nations party our heads off, we should, always remember what made us great. The Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel are not just two of the most important border crossings on this continent. They represent a link between an industry that our countries advanced from a European idea of putting an internal combustion engine onto a carriage towards self-propulsion and imminent freedom of movement.

On the USA side of the Detroit River, the manufacture of these self-propelled vehicles was taken to the next step thanks to mass production along an assembly line. Henry Ford got this one right by a process that would change global automotive production at a time when the imagination began focusing on these self-propelled vehicles. Soon, plants on both sides of the river were involved in the same process creating some of the best vehicles ever seen at that time.

The automobile industry continues to be an integral part of American and Canadian life. Though we witnessed both detraction and growth in assembly and support jobs over the past few decades, automobile assembly is alive and well in the USA and Canada. The job of selling these vehicles is also enjoying a renaissance whether it is a dealer in Edmonton, Minnetonka, Oakville or Sherman Oaks.

So has automotive enthusiasm. As witnessed through the "carmmunity" series last month, the love of the automobile knows no borders. Neither does the connectivity between enthusiasts when it comes to sharing the joy a car, a brand, a corporate entity, racing series, or the exchange of ideas yield to a national ideal.

This week will be a good one in terms of enjoying the fruits of international success with V&R (and, to a lesser extent, Lavender Magazine). Bringing a perspective that is transborder to a growing readership stretching from San Diego to Halifax with core audiences in Minnesota, Alberta, Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, California…and so forth. This knowledge of the marketplace in both the USA and Canada helps frame V&R using a global perspective with roots in our two nations.

In my own way, I am celebrating both Canada Day and Independence Day. Sadly, I only get one of these days off from my day job.

To my readers – Happy National Day of Celebration of the Birth of Your Nation! Better still, Happy Canada Day and Happy 4th of July! Long may our nations live beyond our own!

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