Unlike too many people, Canadians have the good fortune of living in a free and democratic society making progress towards equality. And if Canada enjoys these necessary conditions for its full collective development, it owes much to the sacrifice of the men and women who died or were injured in battle defending these basic rights.
On Remembrance Day, it is important to pay tribute to the soldiers who engaged in combat to protect the ideals that we hold dear.
But our duty to them must not stop there.
Given the importance of the issues for which the veterans fought, we must not only remind ourselves every day of their sacrifice, but also carry their torch, and carry it high.
Freedom and democracy must never be taken for granted. These core values can be threatened, even in peacetime. So we owe it to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to those who suffered physical and mental injuries for these rights, to remain vigilant in their defence. For them, we also have the obligation to work for a more peaceful world without war.
We invite all Canadians to take inspiration from the battle fought by our veterans and to pursue and win the fight for the protection of our democratic rights. To build a better and peaceful society deeply imbued with equality and social justice, a goal towards which the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees also aspire and work for, we must not retreat. We must advance together.
We will remember you, dear soldiers, in our thoughts and our actions.