On November 11, we remember the courage and dedication of the Canadian forces who have fought valiantly over the years to defend our freedoms, making it possible to live in a peaceful, democratic country where we enjoy one of the best quality of life in the world.
For two centuries, thousands of Canadians have earned respect by answering the call to fight against tyranny and evil, - engagements such as the First and Second World War, the Korean War, Afghanistan and many other international military operations. Those who fought valiantly in these battlefields are still honoured and remembered in places such as Vimy Ridge, Ypres, Normandy, Sicily, Netherlands, Hill 355 in Korea, and Kandahar to name a few. Many made the ultimate sacrifice.
It is our duty to remember the Canadians who so selflessly defended freedom. That is why the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War are two of the major milestones on the Road to 2017. As we recall our proud history, let us also remember how early Canadians, First Nations and Métis people fought together in the War of 1812 to repel the American invasion.
Remembrance Day also provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the daunting sacrifices made by Canadian families who were forced to endure their loved ones being away at war. Let us recall the unfailing support they provided to those on the front lines, the thousands of letters and care packages, and the dedication of those who worked in support of the effort back at home.
On this solemn occasion, let us celebrate the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces carrying on today in the proud tradition of their forebears, defending freedom in places such as Iraq, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have the honour to wear a uniform that is recognized across the world as a symbol of courage and democracy. The recent deadly attacks on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who were targeted simply because they proudly wore this uniform, only strengthens Canada’s resolve to keep fighting against those who would deny our liberties and freedoms, and who have a complete disregard for human life.
We can never repay the debt we owe to the men and women who paid for our freedom with their lives, but we can remember their enormous sacrifices and pay tribute to their bravery and patriotism. Lest we forget.
(sources PMO files)