The first full week of November marks two very important days when Canadians remember and honour the contributions and sacrifices of the many who have served in our Armed Forces, as well those who still proudly wear a uniform today: Indigenous Veterans Day (Nov. 8) and Remembrance Day (Nov. 11).
Thousands from Northwestern Ontario and Simcoe County have served, and continue to serve, our country. This year marks the anniversary of several significant events.
Twenty-five years ago this past January, over 15,000 Canadian Armed Forces members were deployed as part of Operation RECUPERATION to help with recovery efforts following the ice storms that affected parts of Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
Seventy years ago, the Armistice Agreement was signed that ended over three years of fighting on the Korean Peninsula. More than 26,000 Canadians served in that conflict, and thousands more in peace support roles in the decades since.
And it was a century ago that our country established its own Naval Reserve. In the Second World War alone, approximately 77,000 of what was then called the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve served. These "citizen sailors" continue to play critical roles in Canada's safety and security.
Members of our University community are encouraged to wear a poppy as a symbol of remembrance and, if able, to participate in the various commemorative events happening in our communities and on our campuses, including Indigenous Veterans Day ceremonies (Nov. 8) and an exhibit in Lakehead Thunder Bay's Agora, and at the Rama Cenotaph at Rama United Church, as well as Remembrance Day ceremonies (Nov. 11 in Orillia at Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital's cenotaph), Thunder Bay (Waverley Park and Fort William Gardens), and on Fort William First Nation at the Anemki Wajiw (Mount McKay) cenotaph.
Wherever you may be on November 8, and on November 11 at 11 am, please take a moment of silence to remember.
Lest we forget.