Speech by the Governor General at the Commemorative Ceremony of the Events of October 2014

OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - October twentieth and October twenty-second, two thousand and fourteen.

It's been one year.

We continue to grieve.

We continue to heal.

To the families, friends and loved ones of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo: my heart goes out to you on this painful anniversary.

We remember them, and we honour their service to Canada.

Their duty was to defend us and to bravely stand on guard for our country.

Ours is to remember their sacrifice, and to remember why they served.

Warrant Officer Vincent and Corporal Cirillo both had very important jobs: to defend our rights and our freedoms as a people. 

They stood up for our democratic values of tolerance, of diversity, of equality, of fairness and of the rule of law—by which I mean the constant, relentless pursuit of justice.

This is who we are.

Our Parliament is a symbol of who we are.

It too was attacked last October.

Many of you valiantly rushed to defend it, just as others of you rushed to the aid of the wounded here in Ottawa and in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu.

You boldly reminded us that with our rights and freedoms, come responsibilities—responsibilities toward each other and to Canada.

You are citizens, you are first responders, and you are police and security officers.

You are dedicated members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

And when those terrible events took place, you acted with great resolve.

You were courageous and compassionate and professional.

You helped maintain order and security.

You stood in the way of danger.

And you did everything you could for the fallen.

It's been one year.

Many people said Canada changed forever last October.

But I don't think Canada changed forever.

Canadians are a caring, courageous people, and that did not change, and that will not change.

Such moments arise rarely in a nation's history, and how we respond tells us what kind of people we are.

How you responded tells us what kind of people you are, and what kind of people we are.

We owe an enormous debt to everyone who pulled together one year ago with such bravery, humanity and resolve.

Here we stand, and here we shall remain.

Let us remember the fallen, and rededicate ourselves to all we hold dear as a people.

David Johnston


SOURCE Governor General

For further information: Media information: Marie-Ève Létourneau, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-0287, marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca

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