Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

September 17, 2009 19:20 ET

Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on the Death of Private Jonathan Couturier

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2009) -

In the space of a few days, we find ourselves once again mourning the tragic loss of one of our soldiers. Private Jonathan Couturier, member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment, based in Valcartier, Quebec, was killed and 11 of his comrades in arms were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their armoured vehicle as it drove along a road in the Panjwai District.

This most recent tragedy painfully reminds us of the reality and risks that our military personnel are facing in Afghanistan as they carry out their mission with an extraordinary sense of duty and dedication. They think of others first, unwavering in their belief in the power to make a difference to improve the lives of others halfway around the world in need of protection.

I have the utmost respect for these men and women whose courage is incredible and whose generosity, unquestionable; who give the best of themselves to pave the way for the hope of security, peace, justice and prosperity to take hold for a people who have long suffered under the yoke of tyranny, violence and oppression.

My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I join all Canadians in extending our sincerest condolences and deepest sympathies to the family of Private Couturier, as well as to his loved ones and comrades in arms. He is a great credit to his country and has made the ultimate sacrifice for humanity.

We also wish a speedy recovery to the 11 wounded soldiers as they work to move past this tragedy. Each of you remains in our minds and in our hearts.

Michaelle Jean

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