November 11th is Remembrance Day and every year Canadians from sea to sea to sea pause to pay tribute to the service and sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country in times of war.
It is also a good time for us to think about the ways in which we remember and honour the legacy of those who have served. The area around our National War Memorial, which I can see from my office on Parliament Hill, has undergone extensive construction recently, but the Memorial is now once again accessible.
The Memorial, titled “The Response”, celebrates the contribution of Canadians when conflict has threatened peace and freedom. It is a theme that is still important today, as Canadians continue to serve as peacekeepers around the world.
Currently, close to 4,000 Canadian forces personnel are deployed in 19 international locations. Whenever peace and security are threatened, Canadian peacekeepers and humanitarian aid is not far behind.
Remembering those who have fought for this country has, in recent years, taken a new turn as we have been discussing the creation of a new Canadian War Museum. The federal government has already donated surplus Department of National Defence land for the project, and the Passing the Torch fundraising campaign has already raised more than $4 million.
As an honourary member of the Westboro Branch 480 of the Royal Canadian Legion, and of the Korean Veterans Association, I am happy to support the creation of a new Canadian War Museum. A new museum for the new millennium is a fitting way to honour those who have fought to protect the freedoms we value today.