Ottawa, Friday, September 19, 2014
Check against delivery
What an impressive display!
I am honoured to be with all of you here on Parliament Hill for this celebration of two regiments that have played a vital role in our country’s history: Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Royal 22e Régiment.
You may have different backgrounds—an infantry whose original soldiers were primarily of British descent, and the first all-French regiment in Canada—but you have much in common.
You both fight for the same causes, and protect our nation, our people, our ideals and our freedoms.
You both serve with distinction, upholding the principles of the Canadian Armed Forces with great honour.
You both wear many hats within Canadian society, be it as soldiers, peacekeepers, ambassadors, or builders of civil society.
You were both formed at the very beginning of the First World War, in reaction to the dangers our allies were facing overseas. And you both found longevity in your willingness to serve in a variety of capacities, during times of war and times of peace.
Canadian men and women have put on the uniform and served in a variety of situations over the past century: in two world wars; in Korea; in Afghanistan; and in countless struggles around the world; not to mention in response to disasters and emergencies at home and abroad. And in all of these situations, your two regiments have been there to answer the call.
Both regiments also have close, historical ties to the office of governor general: The Patricias are graced with Princess Patricia’s name, daughter of then-governor general Lord Connaught. The Van Doos, meanwhile, are stationed at the Citadelle, the residence of the governor general in the City of Québec.
I have had the privilege of witnessing both of these regiments in action, of meeting with their members, and of honouring them for what they continue to do for our nation.
I have also met with, and spoken to, veterans who served in years and wars past. It is humbling to hear of their sacrifices, their sense of duty, the pride they feel for the Patricias and the Van Doos, and for our country—the same sacrifices you continue to make, the same duty and pride that you continue to show today.
Your regiments are respected around the world, not only for their military presence, but also for their ability to work with others, and to take on any challenge.
The Van Doos and The Patricias represent the very best of our forces. You are a credit to the values for which you fight and the ideals that you defend.
I have no doubt that you will continue to contribute to the growth of our nation. And I must say, I am proud to be your commander-in-chief.
On behalf of all Canadians, I salute you and thank you for your service.
Congratulations to all of you on this wonderful milestone.