Each year on Remembrance Day, we pause to remember the tremendous sacrifices of Canada’s men and women in uniform.
This year we’ve marked some important milestones in our shared history. In August we honoured the 75th anniversary of Dieppe. In April we commemorated the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. And this November we reach the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele.
The selfless service of Canadian Armed Forces members during times of war, conflict and peace have helped define and shape our country. Indeed, throughout our country’s history, Canadian men and women have bravely fought tyranny and evil around the world, defending our country, our values and our way of life.
During the First World War, more than 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served overseas, while thousands more trained in preparation to join them, and hundreds of thousands of other Canadians worked on the home front to support their efforts.
In places like Vimy and Passchendaele, Dieppe and Normandy, entire generations sacrificed to defend freedom, peace and democracy.
Later in Korea and most recently in places like Afghanistan and Northern Iraq, our men and women in uniform stood up for Canadian values – fighting with bravery, courage and dedication.
On Saturday, communities across our great country will gather around cenotaphs and war memorials to honour our men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they have made and will continue to make.
We pause to reflect on those who’ve, indeed, made the ultimate sacrifice. That these brave citizens would put their lives on the line to defend freedom, human rights, democracy and the rule of law is most honourable. It’s a debt of gratitude we can never repay.
On Remembrance Day, let us reflect on our freedoms and renew our determination to never forget their legacy and tremendous sacrifices. This Remembrance Day, please join me in extending a heartfelt thank you to Canada’s Veterans.
Lest we forget.