The strangest things make me tear up. I do admit that I tend to be more emotional and sentimental than even my closest friends might realize… But I surprise even myself, sometimes.
Like this morning when I picked my paper off my front porch to see this photo with the headline: Le Nouveau Pierre Trudeau.
For you Americans who might not know… Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minster of Canada for, well, most of my childhood and into my early adulthood. (With a short, less than one year break in 1979-80, he was PM from April, 1968 to June, 1984.)
And if he were still alive, he’d now have a grandson named for him. Story here
. Little Pierre is Pierre-Emmanuel, not Pierre Elliott
, but they both have the initials PET, initials as well known to most Canadians as JFK are to Americans.
I try to avoid politics while blogging and while many Canadians west of Saskatchewan, and east of BC, (Okay, I’m singling out Albertans, sorry), will probably take exception to this, I think PET was a great Prime Minister. Sure, I do understand why some Canadians hold him responsible for much of the divisiveness in Canada, today, but I also think he’s responsible for clarifying Canadian values, for helping us understand and be proud of who we are.
Multiculturalism, Bilingualism, Tolerance, the idea that the state has no place in the bedroom, our Charter of Rights, our constitution, our relationship to the US, (to roughly quote him: sleeping next to an elephant, you’re bound to get the occasional kick). Although some major Canadian defining policies (our international role as Peace-keepers and diplomats, universal health care) were enacted before he took office, these programs grew up and took root during the Trudeau years. PET took office the year after Canada turned 100 and I daresay our place in the world was largely defined during his tenure as PM.
So, seeing little Pierre today made me cry a little. (Big softie. Get to work.)