Ministers of Veterans Affairs, National Defence and Public Safety mark Remembrance Day
Ottawa, ON – It was 90 years ago today that Canadians observed the first official Remembrance Day. At 11 a.m. on 11 November 1931, people across the country gathered in their communities and around local memorials to honour those who served and died during the First World War and recall the many sacrifices that helped to pull Canadians through the war.
Originally, Canada observed Armistice Day in November beginning in 1919. Since then, Remembrance Day – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – has become synonymous with commemoration and the special moment when we pay tribute to our fallen, Veterans, current members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian police officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and more than 30 police services serving abroad through the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program.
Canada marks a number of significant military anniversaries this year, including the 105th anniversaries of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel, and the creation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion—the first Black military unit in our country’s history.
It has also been 80 years since the Defence of Hong Kong, 70 years since the Battle of Kapyong, 65 years since the beginning of the first large-scale United Nations peacekeeping effort in Egypt, 30 years since the end of the Gulf War and 10 years since the combat phase of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan ended.
In each of these theatres, Canadians distinguished themselves in the defence of peace and freedom. Many have also served in numerous operations across Canada, helping their fellow citizens in times of need. All of them have served and sacrificed in ways that only those who have also worn the uniform can understand, but that continue to inspire us all.
Today there are nearly 630,000 Veterans in Canada. Tens of thousands more who died for our country lie at rest or are commemorated in cemeteries and at war memorials around the world, where Canadians can forever pay them their respects.
This Remembrance Day, Canada honours our fallen heroes, Veterans, and members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP, and Canadian police officers from across the country for their service, courage, and sacrifice—at home, around the world and across generations.
“For more than a century, Canadians have served and given their lives in defence of peace, freedom, and security. On operations both here at home and around the world – from the trenches of the First World War to helping fight a pandemic today – the service of generations’ worth of Canadians and Newfoundlanders is something that each and every one of us has a responsibility to remember.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“Today, we ask all Canadians to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by generations of Canadians, both past and present. Let us remember them for their courage and selfless duty in the service of Canada and all Canadians. We owe them an immeasurable debt of gratitude for their protection and preservation of the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. Lest we forget.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
“Canadian police are deployed to some of the world’s most challenging places in the service of peace. On days such as Remembrance Day, we are reminded of the accomplishments of – and sadly, the sacrifices made by – brave Canadians in bringing the ideals of peace and freedom to the world.”
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
Veterans Affairs Canada
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Department of National Defence
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Public Safety Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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