On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, we gather to honour and remember those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country.
Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on the selfless contributions our veterans have made to preserve our Canadian ideals of democracy, freedom and peace.
With each new generation, the torch of remembrance is passed, so that as a country and a society, the values that our veterans fought and died for will live on in all of us. It is because of their sacrifice that we gather to pause, reflect and, with grateful thanks, remember these brave men and women. It is because of their sacrifices that we can raise our families without fear, practice our beliefs openly and live freely in a peaceful, democratic society.
From Canada’s remarkable victory at Vimy Ridge in 1917, to its heavy losses at Dieppe in 1942, from the Korean War, the Gulf War and the conflict in Afghanistan to peace keeping roles around the world, the Canadian Armed Forces has played a pivotal role in defending and promoting peace and freedom for all.
There is a price for this freedom, and we must never forget those who have paid that price on our behalf. We must respect their sacrifices and not lose sight of what it was that they fought for.
We must not become complacent in our lives today as the ideals of democracy, peace and freedom continue to be challenged around the world. This year, we also note the untimely deaths of several members of our Canadian police forces, bringing sacrifice closer to home and more present in our thoughts. May all who serve to keep us safe and free know of our respect and appreciation.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, and I encourage you to seek out the stories of those who fought in this battle. Learning about our veterans is a meaningful way of both honouring and remembering them.
And remember them we must, on Remembrance Day and always. Thank you to those who gave their lives for us, thank you to the veterans with us today, and thank you to those men and women who continue to serve.
May we continue to honour you all by educating our young that peace has been hard earned and worthy to keep for all people.
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