Mr. Speaker, every November 11 Canadians take time out to remember those who served in two world wars and in the Korean war. Now must be added the several peacekeeping and peacemaking expeditions where several young Canadians have lost their lives.
Korea was the first big test for the United Nations when the North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel. It was a case of the United Nations proving itself and its role within the international community by keeping boundaries stable or losing its clout in the world.
Sixteen nations went to the aid of the United Nations and between 1950 and 1953 brought order back from the chaos of that particular area of the world. Five hundred and sixteen young Canadians today rest in Korea.
During World Wars I and II the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Merchant Navy and the Royal Canadian Army and Canadians who served with other forces played their roles.
In World War I, 66,605 young Canadians lost their lives. That talent was lost to this Parliament, to municipal governments, to provincial governments and to all walks of life.
In 1939-45, 45,000 more young Canadians lost their lives in battle; 55,000 came home wounded. All told, including our peacekeeping expeditions, this great nation has lost more than 114,000 young Canadians in war.
Can we as members of the House of Commons today, right now, fully realize the atmosphere that prevailed in this Chamber when Canada declared war in World Wars I and II and the Korean war?
On September 1, 1939 Germany and Russia invaded Poland and Poland collapsed. France and Britain had promised that they would come to Poland's aid, and they both declared war on Germany. On September 7 the House of Commons of Canada was called into special session to decide what Canada was to do. By September 9 it had decided it would support Britain and France. On September 10, 1939 Canada officially declared war.
The battles of Dieppe, Hong Kong, the Italian campaign, the Battle of Britain, the freeing of Holland, the north Atlantic battle and the war at sea generally, and the D-Day campaign were among many in which Canada participated. The only great conclusion is that no matter where these campaigns took place, wherever they will take place, war is hell.
The joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate has recommended a one day debate per year on Canada's international role, a very important debate. If we do not work toward keeping peace in the world, we are not keeping faith with those 114,000 young Canadians whom I mentioned earlier.
The world is not a happy place today. It has some 75 to 80 hot spots. The greatest service we can do is to try to keep cooling them off. This process is to a great extent shaping our world today.
On behalf of all members in the House, I congratulate the 1,700-plus Legion branches across Canada for inviting all Canadians to attend a November 11 Remembrance Day ceremony to remember those young Canadians who left their high schools, their universities and their careers, who left their jobs in the factory or the corner store, who left their ploughs and cultivators and their farms; people from all walks of life who left loved ones to go out to fight for freedom and for eventual peace.
Canada has a great role to play in the negotiations for peace in the world. Think of those today who are far away from home on peacekeeping duties. Think of their families who are at home awaiting the return of their loved ones. These people are keeping the faith with those who died. If we do not give them our support
and if we do not play our role around the peacekeeping tables and at the United Nations, then we are not keeping faith with those who died.
By our own neglect we may well be promoting another debacle and more loss of Canadian lives. As we leave the House of Commons today, let us remember them. Let us not just remember them on Friday next as we stand around the Cenotaph. Let us remember them 365 days of the year because they gave their all.
What we should do as Canadian parliamentarians and as Canadians is work toward the peace and the sanity of a good world for our young people. We must not neglect our duties and allow international plans that might hinder their lives.
Let us think of our families and all young Canadians who are looking forward to a future. If we keep faith with those who died and keep faith in international relations we will indeed be remembering them.
Mr. Speaker, may I ask all members of the House to rise for one moment's remembrance.