Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

September 11, 2011 10:45 ET

Statement by Minister Peter MacKay on the 10th Anniversary September 11, 2001

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11:

"Ten years ago today, a calm and clear September morning was shattered by senseless acts that took the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children. These unprecedented and coordinated terrorist attacks led by extremists that hold no regard for human life targeted buildings that represent liberty and strength, freedom and prosperity. We remember the calamity and confusion on that day as well as the images of towers falling and ashen-faced citizens running for help. On that September morning, we bore witness to a loss of innocence. We will forever remember those who lost their lives in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, including 24 Canadians who were killed, and we continue to stand with, and offer our deepest and sincere condolences to, the families, friends and loved ones of those who perished.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have shaped the security environment of the past decade and have necessitated that Canada and the Canadian Forces act to confront this threat, in concert with our allies.

In the ten years since that fateful day, Canada has taken decisive action to address the evolving threat of terrorism. The Canadian Forces committed 38,000 military members to a UN-mandated, NATO-led mission to Afghanistan, the country used as the launching pad for the terrorists who perpetuated the attacks of September 11, 2001. Canada worked with our closest ally, the United States, to secure our continent by expanding the scope of NORAD to include maritime surveillance. This government set forth the Canada First Defence Strategy to ensure the Canadian Forces are a modern, combat-capable, flexible force, able to defend Canada and Canadian interests at home and abroad. As a result, we are better equipped and better prepared to deal with the security challenges of the 21st century.

Today, as we remember those who lost their lives exactly ten years ago, we must also remember those who sacrificed in the years since.

Canada's soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen faced the threats that challenged the security of our nation, accepted the fears of their compatriots, marched to the front lines of one of the most dangerous places on earth and fought to defend the ideals and values that shaped Canada and made this country great. Through their efforts, our nation is more secure and our world is more stable. Canada owes our fighting forces, and all who support them, our gratitude. On behalf of all Canadians, I thank the members of the Canadian Forces for their service, sacrifice and selflessness.

Working with our allies, Canada remains vigilant against the threat of terrorism and continues to take action to ensure the security of Canada and the safety of all Canadians."

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