Today, Mike joined Canadian veterans, men and women in uniform, and other special guests at Remembrance Day events across the constituency. He shared these words:
“Remembrance Day offers us an opportunity to reflect. Over our history as a nation, more than 115,000 Canadians have given their lives on the battlefield. I often wonder what drove them to do this? What drove them to leave loved ones behind? To head halfway around the world, into situations where they knew they faced the significant possibility that they would not return?
Having never had to make such a decision myself, I’m left only to imagine.
I imagine that such people must have been keenly aware of an existence much larger than themselves.
I imagine that their thoughts would have been affixed on family and friends here in Canada, and the lifetimes of opportunity that lay ahead for them.
I imagine that consideration might have been given to future generations of Canadians, like those of us here today, who would one day live in one of the most blessed nations on Earth.
And I imagine that they’d have hoped and prayed that these future generations would realize that what we have didn’t just materialize by chance; that our human rights, our freedom, and our world-leading quality of life are only ours because those before us fulfilled responsibilities that were only theirs.
I suspect that there would have been an expectation attached to this sacrifice – an expectation that we too would heed our responsibility. That we too would feel our own sense of duty.
For some of us, that call might be to join the Canadian Armed Forces ourselves. To those who answer that call – God bless you. I’d suggest that the rest of us are perhaps honouring the sacrifice, in a small way, every time we make a positive contribution to the quality of life of another Canadian:
When we help someone who truly can’t help himself.
When we stand up for someone who can’t defend herself.
When we are a friend to someone who desperately needs one.
To those here today who have served our great country, and to those who continue to do so – know that we are tremendously grateful for your commitment and for your service.
To everyone else, let us always remember that this commitment and service, and sacrifice, is made not only on our behalf, but on behalf of every single one around us. To fully honour those who serve, and those who have served before them, we must ensure that no Canadian is ever left behind.