This weekend marks the Victoria Day weekend, or May 24 weekend, here in Canada. The weekend usually means Canada’s kick-off of the summer season (although the weather doesn’t always agree). Families all over the nation will be packing up their cars and looking to get away for a few days. But on this particular Victoria Day weekend, thousands of Canadians want nothing more than to go home.
The recent Fort McMurray fires displaced so many Canadians, destroyed homes and tore communities apart. It was a devastating event of which the full effects have yet to be discovered. As a nation, our hearts went out to those who were affected. The fires were devastating, but if any good can be gleamed from this disaster, it’s that it revealed the true nature of Canadians.
Huffington Post Canada recently did a feature on some of the stories that have come out of the response to the Fort Mac fires. While nothing can undo the damage that is already done, these tales of kindness and community gives real pride to being a Canadian.
As evacuees fled their homes, hundreds of people across the nation opened theirs, offering shelter or a bit of rest to tired strangers. Attawapiskat, a First Nations community in the midst of its own crisis, raised thousands to help displaced Fort Mac residents. Syrian refugees have quickly learned what it means to be a Canadian and offered whatever help they could. Airline rules were ignored in order to fly hundreds of residents out of affected areas along with their pets. There are countless other examples of sacrifice and just plain kindness from people and communities all over the country. Read the Huffington Post Canada article for more of these amazing stories.
Of course, we cannot speak to the selfless acts that have come from this disaster without acknowledging the incredible bravery of the first responders. These men and women were faced with an unbelievable situation and did not hesitate to put themselves in danger. The fire was impossible to stop, but through their work, they contained the damage and ensured the evacuees were out of harms way. They are true heroes and have our gratitude.
The people of Fort McMurray are strong and have kept their heads held high through all of this, and we will do what he can to keep their heads up. So continue to help wherever you can, be thankful and enjoy the weekend, knowing you come from a place where, if you fall, an entire nation will be there to help you back to your feet.
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