In my estimation, Americans are special people. And I wonder why there is such a degree of hostility towards them. My first experience with these charming "Yanks," was in Moosonee, Ontario on James Bay, a way back in 1967.
At that time many USA lads came to hunt for Canada geese in the anticipated freezing weather in October. They were astonished there was no snow that time of year. Also, they were mesmerized by the flatness of the land where muskeg was predominant.
You could not walk in the woods without the "slursh" of moisture sucking at your boots. And the natural habitat seemed to attract flying species that speckled the sky constantly. Aircraft had to be especially careful not to have their engines tampered with. Partridge, ducks and geese abounded in flocks of plenty. Their large numbers could easily be drawn into propellers at that time of year.
The weather was warmer than sweat and many of our American visitors forgot to bring fly repellent. These biting creatures were different; they ravaged you as they landed. And took no time to poke around selecting the best entrance, just jabbed and jabbed almost driving any hardy soul insane.
Yet those many Americans I met took it all in their stride. They came here to do a job, get some geese have fun then go home. Boom, boom and bang. I did not, nor have I since found them to be nasty. Of course some had normal human limitations, such as I.
These Americans wanted value for their money, and peeled off cash from their worn jeans, looking like they just stepped out of the Salvation Army. We Canadians, up to our eyeballs in debt, with perhaps a dollar in our pockets, wondered how anyone could carry so much cash in hand. In Canada, our accumulating Visa debt looked after us.
And Yanks were generous with their tips, and compliments.
Today as I read the headlines, you would think they were a new brand of conquering Romans wishing to conquer everyone with their hi-tech weapons. All these Americans want is to get the job done; first in Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and now Iraq.
Then go home to their families, love and be loved.
They have caring hearts, these young Yanks. 'Helping set things straight' is their motto, and yes, at times get into people's faces. But that's their Nature. They can't stand around watching some potentate smack people over and again, Saddam did while the world watched in horror.
And they are involved, especially since they are making terrible sacrifices. We must pray for them and be encouraging. Yes, this "Canuck" calls them, "Friends."
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