Wednesday, April 21

Looking Across the Border at American Turmoil

The year 1967 stands out more than most in my childhood. That was when my family headed off to Montreal along with 50 million other people to celebrate Canada’s centennial, and to be dazzled by the futuristic buildings, multimedia films, space capsules and performances at Expo 67.

But it wasn’t an entirely carefree year.

I distinctly remember looking across the Detroit River from my aunt’s walk-up apartment in Windsor, Ontario.

Across the invisible line that separates Canada and the United States, smoke billowed up from Detroit neighborhoods ablaze from rioting. Emergency vehicles of every variety were racing around on the waterfront of Windsor’s much larger neighbor. As is the case now, the border between the cities was closed.

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