Writer recounts his love for the Maple Leaf

Vernon's Omer Cormier wrote this tribute to the Maple Leaf, published in 2013:

Editor’s note: Omer Cormier wrote this tribute to the Maple Leaf, published in 2013:

Many years have passed before my eyes. I can still remember when I was just a little seed, dropped from the sky to the ground so that one day I would stand tall and proud just like my grandparents.

I did not know about my family tree going back many years. My close relatives were living in B.C.; they were the giant Douglas fir, the biggest and tallest among all trees.

I wanted to be the tallest, like the Douglas, but my parents said to me, ‘Son, be proud to be a Maple. Our family trees are sweet, with sugar and many beautiful colours.’

My grandpa said to me that a long time ago, there were many, many of us in the family. My grandparents and their grandparents saw so many great tragedies.

Parts of the world were out of sugar and there was no sweetness left and so many people came and bled us dry. They took our sap to use for sugar and many of our relatives died.

Another time, people discovered the beauty of our trunks. Our flesh was hard and lovely. Everyone wanted to make furniture out of us. So, again, whole families of Maple were slaughtered.

One early morning, just as the sun was rising, I woke up and heard the sound of men in the forest. The next thing I knew, my grandfather and grandmother were lying on the ground. I was frightened.

They dragged my grandparents away. “What’s going to become of me?” I thought.

But I did grow tall and I stood on Alexander Muir’s property. In 1867, he wrote a song for the wonderful land where we grow.

Today, on Canada Day, we all celebrate under the same flag – the beautiful Maple Leaf.