Most of us are unable to fully comprehend the sacrifice made by more than 1.5 million Canadians who fought to protect the land, the rights and the freedoms each one of us now enjoys. Our Veterans displayed bravery and courage when they left their homes and boarded ships and aircraft to defend a future they believed in.
It is through the sacrifice of our Veterans that we are able to enjoy the many privileges and freedoms we have today in Canada and in our local communities. We are fortunate that we have the freedom to participate in cultural events; that we can speak openly, and without fear, about politics and world issues; and that we can vote and choose our leaders. It is important that we never take these things for granted and that is why we celebrate Remembrance Day each year.
This is a day to recognize, to honour and to praise those involved in the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War. It is also an opportunity to recognize our current soldiers as they carry on a tradition of bravery and honour that has characterized the Canadian Armed Forces for over a century.
Please join me in two minutes of silence and reflection today in honour of the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve, our great country.