Remembering those who served the highest call of duty

November 11, 2016

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November 11th is a day on which we as a nation pause and reflect on the courage and sacrifice that our Canadian men and women in uniform have exemplified in fighting to preserve the rights and freedoms we enjoy. Through their bravery and dedication, Canada has remained a beacon of freedom and stability for the world.

Over the course of history, Canadians have earned a great amount of respect on a global level as we have taken up arms time and time again in fighting off the forces of tyranny and barbarism. We commemorate those who selflessly served during the First World War, taking part in significant battles such as the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel – both of which took place 100 years ago this year.

We remember those who served during both the Second World War and the Korean War, where collectively over one million incredibly brave Canadians directly shared in the suffering and hardship of war, serving to preserve freedom for those whose freedoms became endangered. It is their valour and their sacrifice that we must remember.

In recent years, Canada has continued to answer the call of duty when asked, including the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the over 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members that served in Afghanistan, and will forever remember the 158 individuals that tragically lost their lives for the cause of peace and freedom.

Canada is a nation that has always been known for its willingness to help others, as we have shown through the work of our peacekeeping forces throughout the world. We commemorate the over 125,000 Canadian peacekeepers who have taken part within dozens of international peacekeeping efforts to date. The heart and dedication they show are second to none and the global community continues to be grateful for their work and sacrifice.

We marked Remembrance Day yesterday, but let us all continue throughout the year to remember and reflect upon the accomplishments and sacrifices of those who came before us, while supporting those who continue to serve our great country. We will never be able to repay the debt owed to those who have fought and continue to fight for freedom on our behalf, but we can pay tribute to their selfless sacrifices and honour their unrivaled courage and loyalty.

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