Lest We Forget – A Few Thoughts on Remembrance Day

In honour of Remembrance Day, I wanted to share with you the remarks I made at Battalion Park today.

Today we remember the brave men and women who served our country, many with their lives, to preserve the freedom we all enjoy. Standing here today, as a 73 year old Canadian, I have not sacrificed anything for our freedom. I would guess that also applies to most Canadians. Freedom was given to us at birth, or when we were granted Canadian citizenship, because others sacrificed so much. Therefore I believe it is our responsibility, not just once a year, but throughout the year as we go about our business, to give a thought to those more than one and half million soldiers, aircrew and sailors who sacrificed so much. They died so we can all stand here today. We are forever grateful and owe them so much.

However it is not just those that died for us that we need to be thankful for. We need to recognize our brave men and women who continue to serve our country. Canadian forces personnel continue to give their lives, maybe not in world wars, but in combat just as dangerous. 

While we honor our brave men and women who sacrificed so much in years gone by it must be said that governments, and all political parties, must seriously start talking about re-investing in our military. We must do a better job going forward in responding to veterans who need our help. There is a view by far too many that peace will always be at hand during their lifetime but Russia’s attack on Ukraine has clearly been a wake-up call. If it can happen in Europe, what makes us immune.

Funding for our military is inadequate. Our equipment is out of date and personnel are leaving the armed forces in greater numbers than are joining. As Canadians we need to start making it known to elected officials that we can no longer take our freedom for granted. What so many sacrificed their lives for and we honor today could disappear in a minute if we aren’t better prepared. So while we will be eternally grateful to those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom in the past we need to immediately address these concerns for the future.

Thank you for being here today to honor those who gave us the freedom that we all enjoy.

Ron Liepert, MP
Calgary Signal Hill