Woodbridge, Ontario – The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Vaughan, received honorary membership to Branch 414 of the Royal Canadian Legion, this morning, during a stakeholders meeting in Woodbridge, Ontario.
“I am truly humbled to receive this honorary membership to Branch 414,” stated Minister Fantino. “I am proud to now be a member of this storied organization that has always gone above and beyond to ensure the contributions made by our Canadian Veterans are never forgotten. I commend their commitment to remembrance and service to Veterans.”
“Branch 414 of the Royal Canadian Legion is pleased to present Minister Fantino with an honorary membership,” said Jane Lowe, President of Branch 414. “We will continue to work closely with Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure that Canada’s Veterans are never forgotten.”
Legion members, local Veterans and residents of the Legion Woods Apartments joined Minister Fantino to discuss how the local community can continue to remember and honour the sacrifices made by Canadian men and women in uniform.
This Veterans’ Week, your challenge is to show you remember. Wearing a poppy, attending a local Remembrance Day ceremony and changing your Facebook profile picture to a poppy are all ways to remember and honour Veterans. Visit veterans.gc.ca/iremember to get interactive and share your thoughts or to find commemorative events in your community.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on Canada’s role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
Armistice Day, now called Remembrance Day, is a day recognized around the world as a moment when quarrels are dropped and when we stand together to remember those who gave their lives in the service of Canada.
No issue is more important, no cause more noble, than the act of remembrance itself. No politician, myself included, no stakeholder, no individual has a monopoly on Armistice Day. Nor can any of us stake a claim to shift the focus of Armistice Day in our favour, for doing so undermines the remembrance we should be directing to the fallen.
In placing a wreath on the National War Memorial on November 11th, I do so not on my own behalf. I do so on behalf of all Canadian Veterans, as the representative of Canada’s Government and the department of Veterans Affairs. That is who I represent at that time on that day.
We all share a responsibility to remember the fallen. How we do so is entirely up to us. Whether illustrated by the individual on the street who pauses while others do not. Or by the Canadian Armed Forces member who reminds his fellow soldiers to pause while standing in danger in Afghanistan. Or by a Member of Parliament, or indeed a Veterans advocate, who puts down their pen to stand shoulder to shoulder with others in remembrance of the fallen. One act of remembrance leads to another, as the individual who pauses on the street will surely be joined by someone else. Our collective goal on Armistice Day should be to encourage remembrance in others and no better way to accomplish this noble goal than through leading by example.
Remembrance Day has but one purpose. And I intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone who feels the same. I hope you will join me.
Lest we forget.
The Honourable Julian Fantino PC, MP Minister of Veterans Affairs