Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I wish to begin by saying a particular thank you, as my colleague from the Bloc has done, for this occasion for the smaller parties to join in today in a non-partisan sense. For that I thank particularly the minister and the government House leader whom I understand is largely responsible.
November 11 is a day to remember all of the soldiers who died knowing that they had been sent to the front lines to protect our freedom. We owe our respect and gratitude to the men and women of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to this noble cause. November 11 is an opportunity for Canadians to remember.
We remember those who gave their lives. We remember the shattered lives of the soldiers who returned from the war wounded in body and spirit.
My father was one of the veterans of the Second World War. He grew up in London during the blitz. I think he saw more death and destruction before joining the army than once he was in uniform. It was in going to war that my father became a pacifist.
We recognize the sacrifice of so many who have gone into peacekeeping missions, into armed conflict, selflessly. There is no greater example of selflessness than people who give their lives for a larger cause and we always say that their lives must not be in vain, but in doing so, we need to commit to greater efforts to avoid war, to avoid conflict.
We have mentioned many war heroes today in this chamber. I will not take long to mention a few more names, those who have sacrificed so much in war, have come back home to Canada and have had to continue to fight on behalf of other veterans.
I would like to particularly recognize Lieutenant Louise Richard, co-founder of Gulf War Veterans Association of Canada who, together with Captain Sean Bruyea, did so much to defend and help other veterans; Colonel Pat Stogran, who did so much as an ombudsman; and Corporal Dennis Manuge, whose recent effort selflessly helped so many.
I want to thank again the Minister of Veterans Affairs for putting the matter to rest after Corporal Manuge’s efforts in court.
We recognize on November 11 the great sacrifices in war time, sacrifices not only of individual soldiers, but of those who love them, those who lost them, those who welcome them home with open arms. We remember on November 11 that many have given their lives for the life that we enjoy today.
On November 11, we remember with gratitude. On November 11, we remember and pray that war will be no more.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): I invite hon. members to rise and observe two minutes of silence to commemorate our veterans.