One Canada Day found me in Canada, so I asked a Canadian whether an event, like the Declaration of Independence, was being celebrated, or just the general fact of Canadianness. The Canadian was puzzled and consulted with fellow Canadians, who agreed that July 1 had something to do with Confederation, although of what no one was quite sure.
Lacking exciting political events in their history, Canadians pride themselves on their disasters. When I landed in Halifax, the driver who took us into the city proudly pointed out the cemetery for Titanic victims and recommended a restaurant in the funeral home building that had received the corpses of Titanic victims. He also sketched the horrors of an explosion that occurred in 191 . . .