Today, on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, we remember a small group of heroes who took on a threat much larger than themselves.
From July to October of 1940, outnumbered Allied forces fought tirelessly against the German air force to secure a victory that turned the tide of the Second World War.
This was the first major military campaign fought almost entirely by air forces. It was also the first time in the Second World War that Canadians distinguished themselves from Britain’s Royal Air Force, by entering combat as a formed Royal Canadian Air Force fighter squadron.
Representing the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force, more than one hundred Canadian pilots and hundreds of ground crew fought valiantly, alongside our allies. They worked day and night, through gunfire and bombing raids, to fend off the attacks of the German Luftwaffe.
Today, we remember their dedication to our country, and we honour the twenty three Canadian pilots who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom, democracy, and collective peace.
This anniversary reminds us all that strength does not reside in numbers…
But rather, in the spirit, passion and determination that drive us forward.
Those who served in the Battle of Britain demonstrated a level of tenacity and courage that could not be bested.
And their legacy of excellence lives on today in every member of the Canadian Armed Forces guided by the same values and vision for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Lest we forget.