Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend a Remembrance Day Service at the National War Memorial on November 11, 2009 in Ottawa, Canada. (gettyimages)
Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on the occasion of Remembrance Day
November 9, 2009
OTTAWA—The annual commemoration of Remembrance Day is perforce a strong reminder that defending freedom and keeping the peace come at a price. That of those who have undertaken to defend the ideals which made Canada a sovereign, prosperous, envied nation, a great many have, unfortunately, paid with their life for the advantages we enjoy today.
In this regard, we have a responsibility of understanding to fulfil, a duty of respect to perform, an obligation of remembrance to honour. Lest we forget the over 66,000 Canadian men and women killed and 173,000 wounded in the First World War, the more than 42,000 killed and 55,000 wounded during the Second World War, the 516 killed and 1,042 wounded in the Korean War, the 116 Canadians killed in United Nations peace operations since 1949 and, most recently, the 133 Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since we joined the NATO-led coalition, not to mention their comrades who have been wounded there.
We think of all the brave men and women who never came home, all the grieving families, all the soldiers who have been wounded in body and spirit, something we talk about all too seldom. We owe them a debt of endless gratitude. Let us never forget.