With the worrisome turn of events in the U.S., it was great to see a recent newspaper story describing Prime Minister Trudeau's defence of open, cross-border trading between nations.
If only the president-elect of our neighbour to the south had the same sentiments as does Trudeau -- and, for that matter, as did the 29th President of the U.S., Warren G. Harding, whose words in celebration of the unique relationship between Canada and the U.S. are engraved on a monument in Stanley Park (near Malkin Bowl).
I stumbled upon the monument this past weekend and transcribed Harding's words, which were among his last public pronouncements, as he died the following week in San Francisco. Here is what he told an estimated 50,000 of Vancouverites in 1923:
"What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries to all the world. No grim-faced fortifications mark our frontiers, no huge battleships patrol our dividing waters, no steal-thy spies lurk in our tranquil border hamlets. Only a scrap of paper, recording hardly more than a simple understanding, safeguards lives and properties on the Great Lakes, and only humble mileposts mark the inviolable boundary line for thousands of miles through farm and forest.
"Our protection is in our fraternity, our armour is our faith. The tie that binds more firmly year by year is ever-increasing acquaintance and comradeship through interchange of citizens and the compact, not of perishable parchment, but of fair and honorable dealing which, God grant, shall continue for all time."
To learn more about Harding's visit to Vancouver and his speech, please see:http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/archives_harding.htm. And here's a link to the story about Trudeau's defence of open trade:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/…/trudeau-ap…/article32947380