On Remembrance Day we pause for a moment of silence to commemorate and remember the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace. More than 2.3 million brave Canadians have served our country in this way, fighting for our freedom and our values.
Sadly, not all of them returned home to their loved ones, paying the ultimate sacrifice in lands far away against enemies who do not view democracy as we do. Some of our courageous men and women returned home with physical injuries and scars that serve as permanent reminders of the battles they fought. Others returned home without any visible scars, but the psychological trauma of what they saw and experienced is something they carry with them each day for the rest of their lives. They, and their families, are impacted in ways we can never imagine.
There are no known Canadian Veterans of the First World War and our Veterans of World War II and the Korean War are fewer in number every year. That is why it remains as important as ever to remember they fought for the freedom we enjoy today. Unfortunately, our world remains complicated and the fight for peace and justice persists. We can be proud of the men and women in uniform today who preserve the legacy of those who came before them by continuing to work to bring stability around the world.
Remembrance Day gives us an opportunity to thank and pay tribute to the generations of Canadians who answered the call to serve for our country in order to make our world a safer place for all. It is also a time to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a country where respect for every Canadian is a basic human right, where we are able to live our lives with freedom of conscience and religion, and where we have the right to equal protection and benefit under the law, without discrimination.
The simple gesture of wearing a poppy—on our left lapel, closest to our heart—is one way to let our Veterans know that we shall not forget their sacrifices. On Remembrance Day let us honour their courage and remember how lucky we are to call ourselves Canadians.
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