Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 11, 2010 09:31 ET

Minister of National Defence's Remembrance Day Message

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 11, 2010) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today:

"This year, Canada mourned the passing of John "Jack" Babcock, our last known veteran of the First World War. His passing signified the end of an era in Canadian military history and, as such, was marked with a solemn ceremony at the National War Memorial on April 9th, Vimy Day.

Mr. Babcock's passing illustrates the reason why we need to pause on Remembrance Day to recognize the sacrifices and achievements of our veterans and honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country.

The 620,000 men and women who served in the Canadian Forces in the First World War – of which 67,000 gave their lives and 173,000 were wounded – have now all passed; their voices silent. Every year, the ranks of Second World War and Korean War veterans get smaller. But, their legacy lives on in the values and principles we hold dear; freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

Their torch has been passed to us, and our solemn duty is to remember they sacrificed their lives for Canada and the world. It is the generations of warriors past who won us our nationhood, won us our eminent standing on the world stage, and forged a nation of honourable, dedicated and caring people who rise to the defence of the oppressed.

Those brave Canadians of years past earned respect, both at home and abroad, for their dedication and commitment to peace and security. Theirs is a legacy passed on through the years that Canadian Forces members can proudly embrace. I'm humbled and proud to be associated with Canada's brave men and women in uniform who continue to make sacrifices in the name of freedom. 

Lest we forget."

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