Our men and women in uniform represent the very best our country has to offer. Over
the last 12 years the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces fought and
served this country valiantly in Afghanistan to defeat terrorism, and to promote
security and development so that Afghans can build a viable, stable, and secure
Sadly, this service was not without loss as Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice
for these goals and many others were injured carrying out their duties.
With the completion of the Afghanistan mission, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made
May 9th a National Day of Honour to commemorate the valour, strength and sacrifices
of the more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members who served in Afghanistan.
At events across the country to mark this special occasion, Canadians had the opportunity
to pay their respects to the Veterans and families of fallen soldiers.
In Ottawa, the official ceremony was attended by Veterans and the families of the
fallen - who were flown in especially for this event - as well as Prime Minister Stephen
Harper, David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and General Thomas J. Lawson,
Chief of the Defence Staff. The day was marked by a parade beginning at the Canadian
War Museum and ending at Parliament Hill with a two minute moment of silence.
After the moment of silence, a two-part fly-past salute and a public viewing of
the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil in the Hall of Honour took place in the Centre Block
on Parliament Hill.
This National Day of Honour builds on our Government's continued efforts to honour
and support Canadian Veterans. Previously, we honoured the sacrifices of Canada's
Korean War Veterans by declaring 2013 the Year of the Canadian Korean War Veteran.
We also held a special ceremony to honour the men and women who took part in Operation
MOBILE in Libya.
Canada's Afghanistan Veterans courageously demonstrated the strength, spirit and
determination that have defined our nation from the very beginning. Their collective
sacrifices represent another chapter in Canada's long and proud history of fighting
for a safer, better world for everyone.
Canadians are forever proud and grateful.
Joe Preston, MP