Today is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the past as we honour those brave men and women who have fought and died for Canada, its values and its people. For weeks we have worn our poppies with reverence and care, pinning them to our jackets to show the respect our veterans deserve for their service to our country.
The poppies we wear – symbols of Canada’s Fallen in war – are abundant during early November. But when the poppies leave our coats and sweaters this doesn’t mean our respect and remembrance should end for another year. Remembrance is about honouring the legacy of our soldiers and is something we can do every day by recognizing the sacrifices they have made and striving to make Canada a better place.
What our veterans have done for Canada goes beyond their selfless act of service for their friends, family and neighbours. They have also been tremendous ambassadors for Canada, sharing our national values of community, tolerance, acceptance and perseverance.
Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on those who served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces. It is also a time to think about what they – and we as a Nation – have stood for around the world. We honour them for their prowess on the battlefield, but we also honour those who stepped into harm’s way in peacekeeping missions in areas of conflict around the world, including the Congo, Yemen, Cyprus, Haiti and Mali to name a few.
We are the legacy of their collective service. Our freedom and security that can be so easily taken for granted is only possible because of the actions of our brave Canadians in uniform. University of Waterloo is only possible in large part because of those men and women who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces.
I encourage you to take part in a moment of silent remembrance at 11:00 AM today and by acting upon the values that make this great country a beacon of peace and prosperity the world over.