By: James M. Leslie
This exciting question is on the minds of many Canadians as we get closer and closer to the month of May. This long weekend at the end of the month stands as an exciting milestone in any Canadian year. For many it marks the beginning of the summer season, when warm weather begins and summer holidays are fast approaching. It is a time where we get together with friends and family, take some time away from the difficulties of life, and really unwind with some fantastic summer-themed activities.
Some folks will be using this long weekend to open up their cottages for the season. Earning some relaxation time on the lake with some manual labour and elbow grease to get their Canadian cottage paradise up to scratch for Canada Day.
Some use this weekend as their first opportunity to get their boats in the water. Whether it be a big pontoon boat, a slick speedster, a kayak or a canoe, Canadians love May Two-Four for feeling the wind in their hair and getting out on the water.
Others still will brave the Canadian wilds for their first-of-the-year camping trips. Roasting marshmallows, going hiking, and spending the day at the beach, the camping season begins with this holiday weekend.
And there are some who prefer a more relaxed approach to the holiday. Whether it be having a family picnic, inviting friends over for a BBQ, or just spending some quiet time outside reading, the May Two-Four weekend is an excellent time to unwind and take a break from the stresses that life has to offer.
Whichever activity you choose to indulge in this Victoria Day, take a moment to remember that not all Canadians get to spend this day relaxing, having fun, or even with their families’. Many members of the Canadian Armed Forces are deployed across the country and around the world and they will be spending their holiday weekend very differently from you.
Some might be assisting in the repair and maintenance of the High Arctic Data Communications System on Ellesmere Island. Others might be clearing explosive remnants in the Baltic Sea or participating in counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian sea. All over the world from South Sudan to the Caribbean Sea, Ukraine to the Solomon Islands, there are more than 3,600 Canadians deployed on almost 50 missions across the globe.
So as you throw some hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill and crack open a cold one this Victoria Day weekend, raise your glass to those members of the Canadian Forces who are far from home, working tirelessly for the security of Canada and a better world.