Lest we forget.
These three words hold so much meaning for all Canadians from all walks of life, but especially at this time of year.
On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, we gather to remember. We gather at the Legion and the cenotaphs, in schools and churches.
We come together to remember the sacrifices made by those brave men and women who have served our country with pride and distinction, and those who have paid the ultimate price for that service.
This Remembrance Day, in particular, marks a watershed moment in the history of Canada’s armed forces and for our proud veterans of all Canadian conflicts. This will be the first Remembrance Day in history in which no Canadian veteran from the First World War is still with us on this Earth.
You may remember that back on Feb. 18 of this year, Canada’s last living First World War veteran, John Babcock, passed away at the age of 109.
With his passing, we lost our last participant and witness to the carnage and valour that marked the war that was supposed to end all wars.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Canadian Navy. After some intense and heated debate amongst the parliamentarians of the day, the Naval Services Act was passed on May 4, 1910 and the Canadian Navy was born.
Since that time, this branch of Canada’s armed forces has grown from the “tin pot navy,” as opponents of its creation dubbed it at the time, to a strong force that has sent to sea no less than 850 warships under a naval ensign.
Our proud naval tradition continues today as our navy operates all around the world in many different capacities. Abroad in dangerous areas or close to home in Canadian water, working with our partner nations or alone, the members of Canada’s navy are serving us today with distinction and valour.
Every day they are showing the world the best of what we are as Canadians.
This Thursday, I invite you to join in the many ceremonies all around the Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding.
I invite you to gather with your friends, family, and neighbours to remember those who have made that sacrifice in the name of our country, to thank those who are still with us for their service to Canada, and to thank those who continue to serve Canada with distinction.
Lest we forget.