PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday issued the following statement on Remembrance Day:
“Today, on Remembrance Day, we honour the brave Canadians in uniform who have served, and continue to serve, our country in times of war, conflict, and peace. To those who have been injured in the line of duty, who have lived with the physical and mental scars of war, and who have made the ultimate sacrifice – we remember. We also honour their family members – parents, siblings, children, and spouses – who have given up time with their loved ones, in the name of our country.
“In the face of hardship and fear, our veterans and service members have always shown immense courage and selflessness. From Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach to Korea, Cyprus, and Afghanistan, their commitment to protecting the rights of others and to defending the principles of peace, freedom, and democracy has never faltered. These ordinary Canadians became honoured heroes and made extraordinary sacrifices to ensure a better, safer, and brighter future for people in Canada and around the world.
“We honour all those who risked their lives for our freedom and those we lost in service of their country this year, including Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Captain Jennifer Casey, and Corporal James Choi. Like those who have gone before them, those who may have been facing their own battles, and those whose names Canadians may not know, they gave their lives in service of a better Canada.
“Even if we are not able to gather in person today, we can still take the time to honour and remember our veterans and the fallen, especially this year as we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. To show our gratitude and respect for the depth of their sacrifice, we hold them close to our hearts in the form of a poppy. Everyone is also invited to watch the ceremony taking place at the National War Memorial, which is being livestreamed on Facebook today, and to consult the online resources to mark this day.
“This year, we should also highlight that the global COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted veterans and their families and the organizations that serve them. Yesterday, we announced $20 million in new funding to create a temporary Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund. This investment will provide much needed financial support to veterans organizations that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“At 11:00 a.m. today, I encourage all Canadians to observe two minutes of silence, and solemnly remember all those who have fought for us and our country. We owe them an immeasurable debt of gratitude for helping to make Canada the prosperous, free, and secure country we enjoy.
“Lest we forget.”
B.C. Premier John Horgan released the following statement in honour of Remembrance Day:
“At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, British Columbians pause to reflect on the horror of wars, the lives lost and the sacrifices made by those who returned from battle with injuries, both visible and invisible.
“Normally, we recognize this important day by gathering at cenotaphs and spending time with the veterans, armed forces members and merchant marines in our lives who have served our country. This year, the best way we can honour veterans is by attending virtual ceremonies and keeping ourselves and our community safe.
“For generations, Canadians have bravely risked their lives to protect ours. They have sacrificed so much to build a better world. Let’s pay tribute to them today and every day by doing everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe – and build our province back stronger than ever.
“Lest we forget.”
CONSERVATIVE Party Leader Erin O’Toole released the following statement recognizing the sacrifice of all who served and those who continue to serve Canada:
“This year, Remembrance Day may look a little different from what we’re used to. COVID-19 has majorly impacted our country, but our ability and our commitment to remember the service and sacrifice of our fellow Canadians remain strong.
“Reflection, remembrance, and respect – these are not actions that can only happen during parades or at cenotaphs. They are emotional acts we will uphold during a year when Canadians have dedicated themselves to adapting and persevering through these challenging times.
“It is our duty and privilege to remember and honour the fallen sons and daughters of Canada.
“For those in the military, these are the friends that you trust your life with, the comrades you laugh loudest with, and the brothers and sisters you love and hope desperately to safely return home with.
“I know there are Veterans across Canada who have made it home with invisible wounds of service – know you are not alone. To the families missing someone around the table – know their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“Today, my family and I are grateful as we commemorate the brave women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who fought for our freedom and our great nation.
“Lest we forget their sacrifice.”