|Posted on November 8, 2014 at 12:30 AM|
Below is a copy of my speech at a Remembrance Day service in Newmarket arranged by the Legion:
On November 11, 1919 Canada marked the first anniversary of Armistice with a day of Remembrance.
Ninety five years later, Canada still remembers.
We recognize the men and women who answered the call to serve. We honour those who were wounded and we remember those who fell.
The benefits of our freedoms are many. We have the right to live our lives peacefully, without oppression and pursue our own happiness. But there is a cost to all of what Canada offers. And our nation is fortunate to have those who bravely took up arms against evil doers who would see our freedoms taken from us.
World War One and Two, the Korean War, and the War in Afghanistan. Canadians have fought in great wars with honour and distinction.
And in peacekeeping missions around the world, Canadian troops have served to end violence between people and help nations rebuild afterward.
In troubled regions, such as the former Yugoslavia conflict, in Libya, and even now while we oppose the insurgents known as ISIS, Canadian military personnel rush in to stop the spread of violence and oppression.
I wish that I could say that we will never know war again and that our soldiers who sacrificed so much have already succeeded in putting an end, once and for all, to oppression and genocide. Unfortunately, I know that isn’t true. War remains a fact of life for many regions of our planet.
But I also know that where injustice, tyranny, and violence exist, Canadian men and women are willing to bravely intervene in order to make our world more peaceful.
While we remember the young men and women who have served and sacrificed, let us also remember those who remained at home too. Every soldier has a mother and a father who worried for them. Many had spouses and children who waited anxiously for them to return home. These are people who loved our soldiers as they fought overseas, and supported our brave troops as they served our country.
They too deserve our honour.
On November 11th, we mourn those we lost. We play the Last Post and lower the flag to half mast. We take a moment of silence and we remember.
Then we raise our flag again. We lift our heads high with pride and think about the freedoms we cherish. We express our gratitude to those who fought for those freedoms and we make a vow to them. We promise to repeat this act of remembrance next year, on November 11th, and to continue to do so every year for as long as we live.
Lest we forget.