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VETERANS' WEEK

 

Honourable Senators, I rise today to speak to you about our veterans. We Canadians honour our veterans every year during Veterans' Week from November 5 to 11. During this week, hundreds of ceremonies and events take place to remember the achievements of our veterans and to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

November 11, Remembrance Day, should be more than something you feel; it should be something you do. I urge all Canadians to attend a ceremony, visit a local cenotaph or monument, and to wear a poppy with pride. I urge all honourable senators to ensure that every cenotaph in their region not be left without a wreath on November 11.

As senators, we have a unique opportunity to ensure that all Canadians know how grateful we are to our veterans. They were, and are, ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things in the name of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

This is not just about the past. We have present examples of heroism. Master Corporal Byron Greff, a young soldier from Alberta, lost his life in Afghanistan last weekend while on a training mission. Last week we lost a member of our extraordinary search and rescue unit, Sergeant Janick Gilbert, during a mission in Nunavut.

Our soldiers and veterans are a source of pride. They place, or did place, themselves in harm's way all the time without question for us and for the values this country stands for.

Honourable Senators, let us stand together to honour our veterans past and present. Let no cenotaph be without a wreath on November 11. They died for us, for their homes, for their families and their friends. They died for Canada. We will remember them.