60TH ANNIVERSARY OF CONFEDERATION


 

(WALTER HARDWICK reads the following journal entry. He is sixty years old.)

 
Journal Entry dated July 1, 1927
 
I have just returned from the dedication ceremony for the Peace Tower and Carillon on Parliament Hill. Being that I too am in my 60th year, I can well relate to the significance of this 60th anniversary of Confederation.
 
While standing out on the Hill with the crowd, I found myself profoundly moved by the bands, the Union Jacks flapping in the breeze and, most strange of all, the speeches. Perhaps this new patriotism I experienced out there is a product of age. Perhaps true appreciation of our political traditions and symbols is something that only us old codgers are privy to. Perhaps time has to wash away our youthful sense of invincibility before we can recognize the fragile threads from which the fabric of our nation is woven. Whatever the case, something magical happened to me out there.
 
I looked around at the buildings that had been so familiar to me over the years and for the first time I felt their significance. I did not intellectualize about their significance, I felt it, as though the buildings themselves were alive. I realized that behind these cold stone walls flesh and blood people toiled, argued, compromised and legislated our country into existence: that this site was the heart of our nation, not just figuratively, but literally.
 
It is not without its faults or its inadequacies, but what system of government could we ever create that would be perfect? Would there not always be differing opinions and compromises? Would there not always be special interests pitted against each other and mired in the quest for the common good?
 
As I looked around, I was proud of what we had accomplished and forgiving of what we had yet to achieve. Before me were buildings which housed a democratic system that was the envy of much of the world. We had done it. We had grown from being a small colony into a country in its own right. I looked up at our new Peace Tower and knew that it deserved to be there, that it symbolized much of what we had come to stand for as a people: a beacon of hope and idealism in an often dark world.