Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today in celebration of Black History Month. It allows us to commemorate the significant contributions of African-Canadian men and women throughout the history of Canada.
An example is Fountain Thurman, an American-born slave who settled in New Canaan, in Essex county, Ontario. In spite of the great danger that black soldiers faced, being captured by American forces and either summarily executed or returned to slavery, he fought in the War of 1812, in hopes of creating a better life for himself and his family in our country. His dreams mirrored the dreams of so many Canadians, one of freedom, optimism, and hope.
Mr. Thurman's legacy lives on through the generations of his descendants who, to this day, live on in Windsor and in Essex county.
On behalf of my constituents, and all Canadians, we are most grateful for the sacrifices that Mr. Thurman and countless other black soldiers made to protect the freedoms and liberties of our land. Their contributions played a pivotal role in moulding the Canadian fabric, and they must never be forgotten.