Mr. Speaker, this weekend, on Remembrance Day, we all have a duty to honour those who fought for their country.
“Duty” is a word that often comes up when we are talking about troops that are currently deployed. Soldiers, officers, and non-commissioned officers, we salute you and we offer our profound thanks for the sacrifices you make every day, here in Canada and abroad. We are proud of you, your loved ones are proud of you, and Quebec is proud to be represented by you all over the world. We are forever indebted to you, and we have a duty as parliamentarians to remember.
“Duty” is a word that these men and women understand better than anyone. These individuals leave their family and friends behind, only to risk their lives in an attempt to help make the world a better place.
“Duty” is a word that will always carry profound significance for those who come home from the front lines forever changed, for those whose scars serve as a constant reminder of what they have been through, and for those who will carry an unimaginable burden for the rest of their days.
“Duty” is also a word that will always carry profound significance for the families and descendants of our fallen soldiers. Those people have paid the ultimate price so that others, both here and abroad, can live more peacefully, humanely, decently, and above all, democratically.
Let us not forget that the freedom we enjoy is not a gift, but a legacy. It is the legacy of people just like us who accepted the fact that on any given day at any given moment they could lose their lives so that others could live theirs.
I know that many of my colleagues in the House are veterans. More than anyone else, we have a duty to never forget the significance of the decisions that are made in the House. We have a duty to never forget that the choices that are made here have an impact on our fellow citizens when it comes to national defence, or any other issue for that matter. We will never be able to erase the image of fallen soldiers from our minds. We know what it means and we have a duty to carry their torch and to remind others of their sacrifice.
We also have a duty to keep our colleagues in check at times if ever a hint of cynicism should cloud their outlook and the common good should cease to be the only motivation for their actions.
Our democracy came at a high cost.