On Remembrance Day we come together as a nation to honour the Canadian men and women who fought and died in the name of peace and freedom.
We pause at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month to reflect on the memory of our brave servicemen and women. Not only reflect on their sacrifices, but what each of them stood for: their selflessness in the service of others.
Canadian soldiers not only protect fellow Canadians during times of war. They defend the vulnerable around the world during peacekeeping missions. We are forever indebted to their service.
November 6th marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele where Canadian soldiers led a decisive victory for the Allied forces on the Western Front of the First World War. Through the mire of nearly impenetrable mud, our soldiers led the way. They were tasked to take the village of Passchendaele because of their grit, determination, and resourcefulness. The final push uphill to take Passchendaele was a major victory after months of concentrated conflict, but at great cost.
The battle brought unimaginable death and destruction. Allied casualties reached over 275,000 soldiers either killed or wounded, including over 16,000 Canadian troops. Those who fought and died did so courageously, and those who were fortunate enough to return home ensured that the bravery of their fallen brethren is never forgotten.
We remember so that the sacrifices of the fallen are never gone from our collective memory.
Today’s Canada is a community of powerful diversity. We work collaboratively with countries we once adamantly opposed in conflicts past. This is part of the sacrifice our men and women fought for. Not the destruction of an opposing force, but the prospect that one day we need not fight.
We honour their sacrifice today as one community. Please join me in continuing this homage every day by acting upon the ideals that make this great country a beacon of peace and prosperity.
I ask you to join me and pause for a moment in silent remembrance, and pay tribute to the bravery of our fallen and to all those who have fought and continue to defend our freedom and the safety of others.
Lest we forget.