The extensive coverage of yesterday's anniversary of the Asian tsunami was extraordinary. We watched an amazing CBC Fifth Estate that had moment-by-moment interviews with several survivors. Their stories were harrowing and surreal, beyond imagination.
From my own experience, and from interviewing people who've survived many kinds of trauma, I know that anniversaries can be very meaningful, and very difficult. The first one - the first few - can be especially painful, but also especially significant. My heart really went out to the people gathered on the beaches of Thailand and Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and all the people struggling privately with their memories.
The tsunami anniversary was an odd juxtaposition with the endless ads for Boxing Day sales, and the glimpse of Boxing Day Sale Mania on the news. I notice many stores have invented something called Boxing Week as a way to extend the buying frenzy. In February in the US, not only have two Presidents' birthdays been moved to accommodate a three- or four-day weekend, many stores run "Presidents' Week" sales. (Although I'm sure they don't use the apostrophe, or else use it incorrectly.) (You didn't know I was a grammar nut, did you?)
Anyway, in this respect Canada is just like the US.
Meanwhile, as many as 80% of the people left homeless by last year's tsunami are still living in tents or other temporary housing. The rebuilding has been left almost completely to private aid organizations. The governments don't give a shit. Sri Lanka, Louisiana - it is ever thus.