Annual tribute to Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel at CFL Eastern Conference Semi-final playoff game
Veterans Remembrance Tribute takes place in Ottawa
November 12, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Veterans Affairs Canada
To be Canadian means to stand on guard for peace, freedom and democracy. This has been bravely demonstrated countless times by Canadian women and men in uniform who have served and sacrificed—without reservation—in defence of these shared values over the past 150 years. We honour and remember each of these brave Canadians.
Today, on behalf of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada –U.S. Relations) and MP for Orléans, joined Canadian Football League (CFL) players and officials, Veterans, and thousands of football fans at the Veterans Remembrance Tribute at the CFL Eastern Division semi-final playoff game in Ottawa between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Since 2008, each year on the second Sunday in November, the Canadian Football League launches the semi-final playoff games with a special tribute to Veterans. This year, the Honourable Andrew Leslie participated in the official coin toss during the pre-game tribute show.
“I thank the Canadian Football League for bringing Canadians together to honour our Veterans and men and women in uniform at this moving tribute. Sport has long been a part of our military history; the camaraderie experienced on and off the field serves to strengthen morale and friendship among the troops, and to sustain them on and off the battlefield.”
Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“It's an honour to be on the field today for the Veterans Remembrance Tribute. Along with thousands of Canadians—in person and in spirit—I join in honouring our Veterans and men and women in uniform of all generations for their enduring legacy of courage and valour. Thank you to the Canadian Football League for their partnership in offering this exciting commemorative event each year as part of the semi-final games.”
The Honourable Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada–U.S. Relations) and MP for Orléans
“We are full of gratitude for the courageous and selfless men and women who have fought to defend our way of life. Their service and sacrifice have made it possible for us to gather today in freedom and friendship around the game of Canadian football, and to do so again in a few weeks to celebrate the great Canadian ritual that is the Grey Cup. We are honoured and humbled today to join Canadians in paying tribute to our veterans.”
Mr. Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner, Canadian Football League
Organized by the Canadian Football League and in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, the eastern and western semi-final games features a pre-game ceremony known as the Veterans Remembrance Tribute, as well as the placement of special commemorative visuals around the football field and on each player’s helmet.
Throughout Canada’s military history, there has been a deep connection and longstanding relationship between sports and military service. In fact, during the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War, serving Canadians often participated in ‘games days’ and other official and unofficial athletic contests.
2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada, including Canada 150, the 100th anniversaries of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Passchendaele, and the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
Since Confederation, more than 2.3 million Canadians have served in uniform to defend freedom and democracy—with more than 118,000 having given their lives.
The Government of Canada has improved the services and benefits offered to Veterans and their caregivers and families. To all Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and their families—Veterans Affairs Canada is here for you. Learn how we can help at veterans.gc.ca/services.
Veterans Affairs Canada
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Canadian Football League
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