Remembrance Day – Recognizing Service

November 11, 2008

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Remembrance Day Ceremony

Sleeman Centre

Tuesday, November 11, 11 a.m.

Honoured veterans, members of Canada’s armed forces, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and children:

I am honoured to be with you on this day of remembrance.

On behalf of Guelph City Council and all the citizens of Guelph, I offer heartfelt thanks to all those who have served, and those who are serving today.

Today, we remember all those who answered the call to serve in conflicts around the world, and did not return.

We honour the veterans who did come home, but were forever changed by the experience.

This is also a day when we thank the local men and women who are serving our country right now in Afghanistan.

Our thoughts and hearts are with them and with their families.

I recently had the opportunity to correspond by email with a local reservist who is serving in Afghanistan, Brayden McCleary, and his father Tim.

Brayden had asked for a City of Guelph flag, so that he could fly it at the base where he is stationed.

Of course, I was honoured to provide one. Brayden tells me it is now flying alongside flags from Waterloo, Cambridge and London.

Brayden’s proud father, who lives in Guelph, told me that his son has always been dedicated to the caring professions – as demonstrated by co-op terms at a hospital pre-natal unit and the Kitchener Fire Department, and volunteer work at the Elliott nursing home.

Brayden decided to apply for an overseas tour with the army reserves before “settling down” to a career as a firefighter.

As his dad says, “Brayden has experienced more in his 22 years than many people do in a lifetime.”

We are so fortunate to have people like Brayden and his fellow soldiers – men and women who are absolutely dedicated to service.

Each member of our armed forces has a story, and a group of family and friends here at home who are both extremely proud, and concerned for their safety.

Brayden’s dad wrote to me, “I have heard stories of the day to day challenges that these young men and women face and I cannot imagine how they get through it. I do know that support from home means a great deal to them – more than they could have imagined during their training.”

So today, as we observe Remembrance Day, I am proud to express that “support from home” on behalf of our City.

To our active soldiers: thank you for your service to our country, and we pray for your safe return home.

To our veterans: thank you for defending the peace and freedom that we enjoy today.

To those we lost: thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect us.

Today, we pay tribute to you. We honour you. And we pledge to never forget you.

 

Thank you.

 

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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