Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 11, 2009 11:00 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Occasion of Rememberance Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 11, 2009) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, issued the following statement today on the occasion of Remembrance Day:

Today, Canadians will gather at cenotaphs and memorials across our country and around the world.

They will pause in silence to pay tribute, to honour, and to remember the men and women who gave selflessly of themselves so that we might enjoy the freedoms we do today.

I will join them in my own act of remembrance - reflecting on the exceptional men and women in uniform that I've met: the sailors in Esquimalt, British Columbia; the soldiers in Gagetown, New Brunswick; the airmen and women of Cold Lake, Alberta; and the Canadian Rangers in the Arctic, to name a few.

I will think about our sailors who are about to join anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa; our soldiers involved in peacekeeping operations in the Sinai Peninsula; and the men and women of the Air Force patrolling our skies.

And I will remember the humbling experience of standing with so many Canadian heroes on a silent dusty tarmac in Kandahar as one of our fallen soldiers began his journey home to a flight line of sorrow and tears at Trenton.

I will remember that the valour displayed by the men and women of today's armed forces is part of a great and lasting legacy built by our veterans.

A legacy that includes the battlefields of Flanders, Vimy and Amiens, the cold seas of the North Atlantic, the skies over Britain, the beaches of Normandy, and places like Hong Kong, Ortona and the Scheldt. It is a legacy that prevailed even in the darkest hours of the Cold War and while facing the challenges of a fragile peace in distant lands.

And like all Canadians, I will remember that the things most worth fighting for come at a tremendous cost...

A cost that has spared no part of our great country.

And so, at eleven o'clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we will all fall silent.

In those two minutes of silence, we will all join together to think of our freedom, our democracy, our respect for human rights and rule of law. And we will remember those who gave so much to us and to Canada.

Lest we forget.

Contact Information