Remembrance Day serves as a reminder of the solemn responsibility we have to recognize the significant contributions our veterans have made throughout history to preserve and protect the values for which our nation stands.
Canada is a nation of peace, inclusion and acceptance. It’s these values which are our strength at home, and one of the greatest things we bring to the world. It is because of our veterans, their service and their sacrifice, that this vision of Canada endures.
The responsibility for defending Canadian values is something I take very personally. My grandfather was a veteran, my dad was a veteran, and both my husband and I served as officers in the Air Force.
I know the critical importance of a country’s values and I understand how quickly they can be taken away when we are not paying attention. Defending the values of our nation and service to country is who I am at my core.
This year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the Great War. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, Armistice was declared ending WWI. A war that was to have ended all wars. But as we have seen on many occasions since then, peace is fragile and must never be taken for granted.
We are in a time of unprecedented global instability. We are witnessing fundamental shifts in our economic and financial frameworks, our trade relationships, our defence and security structures, and maybe even our concept of nation states and current international agreements and laws. As we navigate this time and envision the future, values will and do matter.
Canada with our NATO allies, have committed to: defending the values of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, to promoting stability and the well being of all peoples, and to be united in the preservation of peace and security.
The power of John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” is not only honouring of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives on the battlefield – but also in the command that he issues to us…
“Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw – the torch: Be yours to hold it high ….”
And also in the consequence of our failure to abide by that command, “If ye break faith with us who die – we shall not sleep though poppies grow in flanders fields.”