Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans

By Alexandra Heilbron on February 24, 2010 | 31 Comments

A six-minute video that appeared on NBC prior to the Olympic opening ceremonies has gotten over 800,000 hits on YouTube.

It features Tom Brokaw talking about the beauty of Canada and our bravery, including how Canada entered World War II before the U.S. did, our involvement alongside Americans in the Middle East, the Highway of Heroes, Operation Yellow Ribbon and Ken Taylor’s amazing rescue of six American diplomats held captive in Iran.

The video, which many are calling a “love letter” to Canada, features breathtaking glimpses of our country’s beauty. Watch it for yourself and tell us what you think below!

Comments & Discussion

  1. bubbles • February 24, 2010 @ 3:07 PM

    very nice clip, but it’s a little disturbing that a national broadcaster found the need to educate their audience about the mystery that is Canada. An pointing out that we are the largest oil supplier in North America has got to get a few people wondering why the US gov hasn’t found any weapons of mass destruction in the Yukon… I mean there should be some sort of US military presence making sure we don’t do anything silly.

  2. G.W.Bush • February 24, 2010 @ 3:49 PM

    Well I’ll be damned! I wish I had known Canada had all that oil. Bubbles, you should’ve been one of my chief advisors.

  3. gypsy • February 24, 2010 @ 8:25 PM

    We are truely blessed!!!

  4. CoryTrevor • February 25, 2010 @ 12:21 PM

    We built the first WMD for the Americans in Montreal.

  5. patrick • February 25, 2010 @ 1:12 PM

    Thank you …Nice work!!
    Our leaders do not promote patriotism within the daily lives of canadians. My husband felt he needed to ask our neighbours if putting up a flag pole was ok??
    “Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation” (Jane Addams)
    Our practices as canadians are changing to accomodate multiculturism. We pride ourselves on being a country of multiculturalism, and Although cultural pluralism, ecourages participation fully and equally in Canadian society.
    How many canadians at the olympics were actually carrying canadian flags or were they from their own ancestral cultural origin? Be proud to be canadian

  6. Wendy • February 25, 2010 @ 3:25 PM

    When I first saw this I was totally overwhelmed in a good way. I’m glad that we are not just another country with ties to the USA, but we are considered as humanitarians in all ways. We are allies fighting for the freedoms of all people not just in Canada, but the world over. I would be proud to stand with the USA, be valiant as neighbors to know that on our borders we have each others backs, because if we didnt, we didnt have to take those planes on Cdn soil, we didn’t have to do anything, but we did and that is what makes 2 great nations stand side by side.

  7. Evelyn • February 25, 2010 @ 4:17 PM


  8. Pat • February 25, 2010 @ 4:30 PM

    Loved the piece, it continues to make me proud to be Canadian. However I do wonder if Tom B. isn’t a closet Canadian or a Canadian Wannabe? Thank you Tom, this helps to ease the dislike I have for some of your newspaper headlines about our wonderful country. Prior to insulting us, perhaps some of the editors should see this film & remember who was there for them during the difficult times. Is this how you treat a “friend” & ally? I’m not thrilled by the British papers, either.

  9. HBhannahbrown • February 25, 2010 @ 4:40 PM

    It’s sad that Americans need to be TOLD what a relationship our two countries have, where most Canadians know everything in this video already!

  10. Leslie • February 25, 2010 @ 4:42 PM

    Thank you Mr. Brokaw.
    You always were my favorite American newsman!

  11. DAK • February 25, 2010 @ 5:18 PM


    “How many canadians at the olympics were actually carrying canadian flags…”

    Ummm… haven’t you been watching the Olympics? Haven’t you seen the patriotism that Canadians from all backgrounds have been displaying? Perhaps you should rethink your point of view.

  12. Mary • February 25, 2010 @ 6:22 PM

    Blame their lack of knowledge about their neighbours to the North on their educational system.There are some who don’t even know what’s going on in the state next to them. One thing that really bothers me is this, Canada and the US are both on the north american continent.We refer to ourselves as Canadians not Americans just as someone born in Germany refers to himself as German and not european. Why are people born in the US called Americans. Shouldn’t they refer to themselves as United Staters born in North America? Hmmm Comments Please

  13. Nancy • February 25, 2010 @ 6:34 PM

    Mary: I totally agree!

    Pat: When I was in Michigan, the majority of people were really nice to me but, I ran into a few who weren’t so nice. One man in particular spoke to me and when he found out I was Canadian, specifically said “Oh. Poor you!” in a very rude way. Needless to say, I gave that guy a piece of my mind! LOL.

    We also have the second half of NORAD here in Canada. The other half is in a mountain in the USA.

  14. Mary • February 25, 2010 @ 7:30 PM

    Another thing the majority probably aren’t even aware of this fact that Canada and the United states are two countries on the north american continent. Go Figure!

  15. Nancy • February 25, 2010 @ 8:43 PM

    Uh, yeah Mary…we heard ya the first time, LOL!

  16. LESLEY • February 25, 2010 @ 9:07 PM

    Thank you for this. Now maybe the American public will know who we are. We are always educated about them but they know virtually nothing about us. Keep up the great teaching.

  17. Nessa • February 25, 2010 @ 10:02 PM

    Born and raised Canadian here. I’ve always had a job where I’m speaking to Americans. I’ve had American friends. I always have to educate them about Canada. Of course, one American said that, “Canadian accents is what proper English should sound like.” 🙂 I really think that the lack the U.S. has on Canada is the lack of our media down south. Canadians are bombarded with American information on a regular basis. They really don’t hear anything about us. The great thing about the Olympics is that the states are finally doing it!!!

  18. Nancy Apps • February 25, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

    Loved it, Tom Brokaw did a great job, nice to see Canada get recognized for the wonderful country it is..

  19. Minerva • February 25, 2010 @ 11:09 PM

    Good for you Mary……totally agree! I’ve always said that the United States is the only country without a name. They are States that are united in the American continent which is made up of North America and South America. All people who live on this continent are Americans. We are the United Provinces of America but we have a name for your country. Most United Staters also can’t swallow that Canada is actually 9% larger than the United States!! I’m glad you raised that point.

  20. Minerva • February 25, 2010 @ 11:12 PM

    Oops…sorry! Meant to say: “We are the United Provinces of America but we have a name for OUR country”. lol…typo

  21. L.A. in T.O. • February 26, 2010 @ 8:55 AM

    This gave me chills when I first watched it. It continues to do so. Especially the bit about the Highway of Heroes, which has gotten a lot of press south of the border. They admire us for that. THEY, the uber patriots they are admire US for honouring our fallen soldiers.

    The clip about JFK…there’s a book called Between Friends that Canada gave the U.S. on their bicentennial in 1976. My uncle in Ottawa had the book, and I recall way back then reading that quote “Geography makes us neighbours, history makes us friends”. I NEVER forgot that. It’s so true. Our countries are like siblings, god knows we push each other’s buttons, but when it comes down to it, we always have each other’s backs.

    Sometimes we just need to be reminded how much we appreciate each other. The Canadiana vignettes on NBC during the Olympics have made me nothing but proud.


  22. Jay • February 26, 2010 @ 10:58 AM

    That was absolutely beautiful!Thank you Mr Brokaw.
    It has always astounded me how ignorant most of the older Americans that I have met are about Canada, that is changing for the better thanks to the Internet.

    I think the Vancouver Olympics and our athletes have been wonderful and the Canadians at the events were very patriotic, a sea of red at every event.

    I am extremely proud to be a Canadian and part of this great land we call home and I will be damned if I would ever ask a neighbour if I could fly our Canadian flag!

  23. Lisa • February 26, 2010 @ 11:31 AM

    I find it very sad that the Americans have to be educated about a country that is right beside them, but I am very proud that we have all these wonderful things to brag about!

  24. PM • February 26, 2010 @ 4:18 PM

    It was a really nice piece but too bad they forgot to mention how Canadians took in the slaves to freedom instead of joining the American’s in the slavery.
    Too bad racism still exists in the US.

  25. Daphne • February 27, 2010 @ 1:31 PM

    I see the video has been nixed because of copyright issues, Surely they could have waived the copyright. Went looking for it on NBC’s site but it isn’t there either. At least, I typed in the whole title and got no matches. Was it just a piece of rubbish to them or is the mighty USA actually jealous? Any thoughts? So good to see Canadians showing their pride. It’s always been there but now they are giving it voice.

  26. Jeannie • February 27, 2010 @ 6:08 PM

    So theyt pulled it ah typical of NBC. Noticed they never mentioned how we take much better care of our immagraNTS AND ALL. AND WE HAVE BECOME SO MULTICUTUAL THAT TO BE A BORN CAUCATION cANADIAN IS NOW THE ONLY SIN.

  27. Nancy • February 27, 2010 @ 7:01 PM


    Uh huh. Sure.

  28. Nancy • March 1, 2010 @ 1:57 PM

    OH CANADA….click my name and see.

  29. Karen • March 5, 2010 @ 7:35 PM

    Made me cry when I first heard it and made me even more proud to be a Canadian. It irritates me when some Americans ask me is Toronto or Ontario another state of ours, or Canada is the same as the states but with better health care. We are different in so many ways. We are neighbours and when push comes to shove I know they would be there for us and so would we.

  30. gypsy • March 6, 2010 @ 2:44 PM

    CANADIANS are peacekeepers not WAR-MONGER’S!The USA politicians say kiss our a$$,and our government bends over!NOT very neighborly in my opinion!!

  31. Arlene • March 14, 2010 @ 2:53 PM

    Thank you Tom Brokaw for your wonderful piece on Canada during the Olympics. It was great to see and being Canadian the chills went up and down the spine watching this show. It made me feel so proud. I also just finished watching the piece called “Operation Yellow Ribbon” and the active part Canada played in 911. Again, thank you Mr. Brokaw for your sensitive, compassionate reporting on Canada again. In my opinion I would make you an Honorary Canadian!

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