Remembrance, reflection, and gratitude: Lest we forget

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There is something about Remembrance Day that I have always loved. Perhaps it is the invitation for introspection that runs contrary to the fast-paced, business of life that I found so captivating. Perhaps it is the simple, beautiful rituals of remembrance – the lone bugler, the piper, the poetry, and the silence.

As a young musician, I used to head with my clarinet to the town cenotaph to join the band in playing the songs of remembrance, and I continue to be moved by the solemn celebration of the courage and sacrifice of those who have served.

Each year, we are given the opportunity to come together to remember those who have served, and to actively reflect with gratitude on the sacrifices that thousands have made in order to create the Canada we know.

Today, as I stood with thousands at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, the most striking was the silent solidarity of individuals of all ages, gathered together to remember those who have and continue to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of peace and freedom.

So today, we have the privilege of reflecting on those who have served our country, and to think about how we can continue to build a nation built on peace, freedom, tolerance, equity, and kindness. Canada has been an international leader in championing human rights, and it is a fight that continues today, both at home and abroad.

Remembrance day is a call for us to remember those who have gone before, to thank those who continue to serve, and to find the ways for each person to work to create a nation, and a world, defined by these qualities.

So thank you. We will remember. We will continue to strive.

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