Take the time to honour veterans

Hugh McTaggart never fought in any war, but he did grow up in a time of war that saw men from Fort Frances and the district march off to fight overseas.
He made sure he attended the Remembrance Day services every Nov. 11—regardless of the weather or illness. He felt it was the least he could do to honour all those men and women who sacrificed themselves.
This Friday again will mark the day we pay homage to the men and women who continue to sacrifice their lives—in foreign lands and on Canadian soil—for our safety.
Earlier this week, a story ran across the country that Canada is restoring the memorial at Vimy Ridge—one of the most celebrated battles in Canadian history. A battle that marked the coming of age for Canada.
More than 11,000 names of Canadians must be restored on the monument. It—along with many other Canadian war memorials—is being restored to help us remember the sacrifices.
Today, we find more than 1,800 Canadian peacekeepers in seven African countries, as well as in Haiti, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and the Middle East.
As for this year, our troops have responded to the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean and the call for assistance following Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, they responded to the earthquake zone along the Pakistan/India border and to Kashechewan First Nation in Northern Ontario to provide safe drinking water.
Every one of these deployments brings with it separations of family and friends. And with the size of our forces, these separations become much more frequent. While some may be for only a few weeks, other deployments last months.
The sacrifices happen much more frequently.
These men and women are carrying on the rich tradition of providing protection and assistance. Since 1947, Canadians have participated in 72 international operations—and those veterans must be honoured, too.
Every year, the number of Second World War veterans declines. As they march proudly to the cenotaph on Friday, we must remember that most are into their eighth decade of life. And the opportunity to say thank-you one more time is reduced.
This Friday, take the time to honour those who have sacrificed to preserve peace in the past—and provide safety today.

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