On November 11, we remember the great sacrifices Canadians have made to protect our rights and freedoms.
We remember those who lay down their lives in the Boer War, the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. We are inspired by the courage of those who fought in Afghanistan and in other conflict zones across the globe.
Thousands of Canadians never returned from those battlefields far from home. Many who did continue to grapple with devastating physical and mental wounds – injuries that may never heal.
On Remembrance Day, we acknowledge the pain and suffering they endured so that we could live in a Canada that is strong and free, and we thank them for their courage.
But as we gather this year to mark the centennary of the end of the First World War – the war we once believed would end all wars – it’s important that we not just remember the sacrifices that were made. We must also honour them.
They helped shape a just and fair society, one where we all take care of each other. Medicare, public education, laws that ensure safe working conditions and a living wage – it’s only a small part of the legacy they entrusted to us.
We must be vigilant in protecting their legacy. We must guard against those who would use fear to divide us, those who would undermine the democratic institutions that make us strong, those who would trample on the very rights our ancestors fought and died for.
Only together can we protect the ideals that have made Canada a beacon of hope and democracy around the world. A country where diversity is celebrated, where we stand up for each other, where we constantly strive to do better.
Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity.