Why is it a question? Why aren't we instead shocked?

Earlier this week, Trustee Angela Kennedy, of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, made a motion insisting that school children learn to sing our National Anthem acapella. She asks that the playing of a recorded CD be eliminated as the kids stand, while daydreaming for those 39 seconds.(Yes, I timed it).

I say Bravo to you Ms Kennedy. I'm just sorry we haven't addressed this issue sooner. I say this because over 1/2 (54%) of Canadian high school choral students don’t know the melody to O Canada and only 67% knew the lyrics, according to a study from the University of Victoria.

I believe that today's kids have far too many distractions at their finger tips, and unless we get them back on track, we will surely enable the disconnect that is becoming increasingly prevalent with children in the school system.

It's our responsibility as citizens of this great country to step back and nurture some of the basics that it seems we may have let fall to the way side; a sense of pride, patriotism, respect, and discipline. We must never, ever, forget the blessings that this wonderful country provides us. That fact comes from the shoulders of many brave young men and woman who have sacrificed so much.

Yes, every child should be taught and forced to learn those 63 words, and I believe it's something that every adult Canadian should insist upon. It seems we have washed away our duty as citizens. Perhaps it's an effort to distance ourselves from the "in your face", "rah-rah-rah", "Might is right - God Bless America!", neighbour to the south.

Think back to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, when impromptu performances of O Canada were repeatedly serenaded. No, no, it wasn't a Grammy winning performance - make that a "JUNO" winning one, (thanks, in part, to a beverage of a sociable nature or two) but it was Canadiana at it's best. In some unique way it was a defining moment that galvanized us once again as Canadians. It just felt good to belong. That kind of Canuck camaraderie happens so very rarely. That doesn't mean we shut out any other nationalities, customs or religions. In fact ,it's the opposite. Singing the anthem is a way to express gratitude to a nation that has welcomed us all with open arms.

Heritage Canada reports that school children likely first sang O Canada when the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (later King George V and Queen Mary) toured Canada in 1901. It was a few years later that Whaley and Royce, in Toronto, published the music with the French text. A translation into English was made by Dr. Thomas Bedford Richardson, a Toronto doctor.

Some suggest that forcing kids to be part of an early morning "glee club" is nerve-wrecking and embarrassing. I say, nonsense. There is no Simon Cowell judging us, but the rest of the world may, when our next generation can only perform O Hum Da Dum....Our hum hum - hum..hum hummmmmm.
For your singing pride and pleasure...

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee