Each year on November 11th, our solemn day of remembrance, Canadians exercise our duty and privilege in paying tribute to our servicemen and women. The only reason that we are able to enjoy this privilege is thanks to the inestimable price paid by so many of our fellow Canadians.
November 11th, 2018 marks the centenary of the end of WWI. Throughout the First War, Canadian troops earned world recognition as the best attacking allied troops on the Western Front. When the Allies planned the offensives that would ultimately win the war, Canada’s soldiers were given the responsibility of being at the forefront of the attacks. By the final days of the war, the Canadian Corps’ reputation was such that the mere presence of Canadians on a section of the front would warn the enemy that a fearsome attack was coming.
Between 1914-1918, the accomplishments of our brave Canadian men and women earned our country a newfound respect and a recognition—both at home and around the world—that we are an independent country in own right. This fact earned Canada a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the First World War. The war exemplified Canadian’s commitment to defend peace and freedom. Since that time, our troops have demonstrated this commitment time and again.
Each year on Remembrance Day Canadians pause for a moment of silence to commemorate and remember the men and women of the armed forces who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace. More than 2.3 million brave Canadians have served our country in this way, fighting for our freedom and our values.
We wear poppies to commemorate the sacrifices of Canadian service people in every conflict and every peacekeeping mission since Armistice Day. I am proud to say that this legacy lives on because of the work of our Royal Canadian Legion who take the time to teach our children and youth importance of wearing this symbol with thanks, pride, and respect. We must show our children that we wear our poppy on our left lapel, closest to our heart. We must help them understand the meaning and importance of standing together, united in silence, as we mark the contribution of so many past and present.
Let us remember the times of conflict when our country has prevailed.
Let us remember the times of peace that we have enjoyed.
Let us most of all remember the people who have made this all possible.
We will remember them.