November 09, 2016

We Will Remember Them

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There is no more admirable task than to serve.  Thank you to the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, their spouses, children and extended family.

November is a time for us to look back at the battles of the past that secured our freedom and gave birth to Canada’s identity.  It is also a time to remember the battles in which young Canadians fought not only for our security and freedom but the security and freedom of those abroad.

Valour, courage, hard work, determination and commitment; these are the qualities that were on display amongst the Canadian men and women who served and fought on battlefields around the world, and have served closer to home. They are the same qualities that are on display each and every day in today’s Canadian Forces.

I am encouraged to see so many people pin a poppy to their jacket.  It is a small but important symbol of remembrance.

I am also encouraged this year to see students paired with veterans as part of No Stone Left Alone, a growing effort to ensure no one is forgotten on Remembrance Day.  For the first time in Saskatchewan, No Stone Left Alone worked with local students to place poppies on the gravestones of Canadians who have fallen in the line of duty.

This act of Remembrance helps connect students and youth to the long, proud tradition our women and men in uniform have forged through valour, determination, and sacrifice.  An act of Remembrance to honour what they fought for, and to carry that on so that we never forget.

For those of us that have never experienced war, we cannot fully understand the sacrifice made by members of the Armed Forces, their family members and loved ones.  For every member who served, she or he also had a family who stood behind them, who stayed home to make a life in sometimes difficult circumstances.  Sometimes – too many times – they sacrificed all.

At this time of year, our thoughts go back to women and men who fought to liberate Europe; who fought like tigers in Korea; who kept the peace in countries around the world, and who fought our enemies in Afghanistan.  On Remembrance Day, we not only remember those who have served and given their lives but we stop to recognize and thank the families who often carry the heaviest load, quietly, proudly; never complaining.

As we try our best to honour the sacrifice and service of the women and men of the Armed Forces across Canada, and here at home; of those who served decades ago, and those who serve today; and of those who never came home, please also remember their families.  It is to them too that we owe a great debt.

We owe it to our veterans to ensure that the memory of their efforts and sacrifices will live on in all Canadians.  All of Canada looks up to them.

Greg Lawrence is the MLA for Moose Jaw Wakamow and serves as Saskatchewan Military Liaison, the Saskatchewan Party government's main contact with the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces in Saskatchewan

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