Video of CAF speakers delivering the speech for teens in grade 7 to 12

Video / October 27, 2020


Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence:

Hi everyone,

My name is Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence for Canada, and I wanted to talk to you before you watch this great Veterans’ Week video.

I know it’s been a difficult eight months, and I really commend all of you for doing your part to stop the spread of COVID. Every effort you make – big or small – to stop this virus is helping our country get through this tough time. So, thank you very much for all you do.

Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on our history… to think about the values that our Veterans fought to defend… and to remember those who sacrificed so much to make the world a better place.

Each and every day, the people who serve in our Canadian Armed Forces are still working to keep you and all of Canada safe. They are the Veterans of tomorrow, and Remembrance Day is a time to honour them as well.

I hope that you enjoy learning about Canada’s rich history through their experiences. Together, we will honour those serving today and remember those who served before them.

So, thank you for everything you do and a great special thank you to our Veterans.

Cpl Amanda Neale:

I am proud to be one of a number of members of the Canadian Armed Forces who will talk to you today about the importance of remembering our veterans.

As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces I am part of a family…

A family that honours those who came before us and a family that continues to support one another today.

MS Nicolas Thibeault:

I remember the Carty brothers from Saint-John, New Brunswick. For these five brothers duty was bred in their bones. Their Father – Albert - was a member of the No. 2 Construction Battalion during the First World War.

Rather than follow in their father’s footsteps and join the army, and despite regulation restrictions in place for Black people serving in the military, the five brothers took to the sky and became members of the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

The youngest of the brothers – Gerald – became one of the youngest commissioned officers of the Royal Canadian Air Force at the age of 19.

That is just one example of members following in their parents’, or grandparents’ footsteps.

WO Melissa Walcott:

I also remember the thousands of Canadians, like the Carty brothers, who have fought to defend the country we love…

…To help make the world a better place.

Capt Jason Tsang:

I am in the Canadian Armed Forces, and when I remember I think of those who fought in Afghanistan…

S1 JC Richards:

…of sailors who prevented drugs from entering our country…

Cpl Amanda Neale:

…of aviators who protected the North American air space…

Sgt Daniel Racette:

…of members who gave medical care to people who had never seen a doctor before.

A/SLt Shannon Delaney:

Some members were injured, while others lost their lives.

… Families lost a spouse,

… a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a brother or a sister.

Capt Jason Tsang:

And I remember, because I hope…

…That, in the future, on this day…

…Someone remembers me.

Sgt Daniel Racette:

We are the latest generation working to keep our country safe and free.  You may even know someone who is part of the military family. Parents and grandparents of you or your friends who fought, or continue to fight for our freedom.

On Remembrance Day, we honour the stories of our veterans—from invigorating victories to demoralizing defeats. 

Not everybody earns a medal in wartime or makes it into the history books. 

MS Nicolas Thibeault:

But every last one of the 8 million sailors, soldiers and aviators who answered the call during the First World War …

The 1.1 million Canadians who served in the Second World War…

And the tens of thousands of Canadians who served in Korea, Afghanistan, and in other missions around the world…

…has a powerful story to tell. 

A/SLt Shannon Delaney:

Each of these stories share a common theme: Determination.

Determination to fight for freedom and for peace, despite the hardships and personal sacrifices required. 

Because that’s what true heroes do, and they can be found in every generation.

Heroes like Captain Nicola Goddard. She was only 26 when she gave her life in Afghanistan in 2006 to help create a better future for the people of that country. She was the first female Canadian combat soldier killed in action. She died in a firefight as Taliban forces launched an assault on the city of Kandahar.

It’s thanks to people like Nicola that today we live in a strong democratic country that guarantees our rights and freedoms.

S1 JC Richards:

Their heroism is the reason Canadians enjoy a high standard of living and quality of life.

It’s also why Canada has been a leader in keeping the peace around the world.

Canada has sent more than 100,000 Forces’ members to participate in over 66 United Nations missions around the world.

Whether it’s abroad or on home soil, we can be counted on to keep Canadians and our country safe. Just as our veterans did.

That’s the link that ties today’s military members to those who came before us. We are all part of the Canadian family. And we are all in this together.

No matter where we’re needed – here at home and beyond our shores – dedicated Canadian Armed Forces members are ready to help.

We remember that there are still wars ongoing.

Sgt Daniel Racette:

And people still need help.

Capt Jason Tsang:

And that’s why I remember.

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