â€œIf ye break faith with us who dieâ€¦â€
On Remembrance Day we recognize Canadian soldiers who served, and those who continue to serve. We also pay our respects to those thousands of Canadian men and women who paid the ultimate price in service to our country.
This year our awareness is raised higher, as we commemorate important milestones in our nationâ€™s military history: the centennial of the First World War, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.
With the First World War, we remember the contribution of over half a million Canadians who fought for and defended the ideals of democracy and freedom. Risking their lives overseas, their relentless determination and sacrifice to the cause was to such an extent that it forever changed Canadaâ€™s place in the world and helped to forge our identity as a nation.
During the Second World War the contribution of Canadians was invaluable to the Allied cause. Canadian servicemen and women played an essential role in extinguishing the evil of Nazism and liberating thousands of people across Europe and the Pacific.
The fact that the Second World War was also the first war that Canada declared of its own accord is also of great importance. To mark the 75th anniversary of this occasion, our government will be honouring all living veterans of the Second World War this year with a special commemorative tribute.
This Remembrance Day we also recognize our veterans who have served and fought in our other conflicts since then, including Korea, Afghanistan, and other various peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. Their contribution to our country, as well as their sacrifice and desire to make the world a better place, is no less significant or noble than those brave Canadian soldiers who fought before.
Earlier this year, we witnessed the final withdrawal of the last Canadian troops from Afghanistan. For almost 13 years, 40,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces diligently fought to defeat terrorism and ensure freedom, security, and development for the Afghan people.
Canadians respected this achievement and sacrifice with the National Day of Honour on May 9, 2014.
As we reflect on the recent, tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, we are reminded once more that our men and women in uniform routinely put their lives on the line in order to protect us. The heroism of these two brave Canadian solders follows in the great legacy forged by the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who came before them. Our hearts go out to their loved ones and friends at this difficult time.
This November 11, let us take time to honour the fallen, commemorate the brave, and thank our past and present members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their service.
Lest we forget.
Mark Warawa, MP for Langley