Here is a speech Lieutenant Governor Lois Hole delivered to the assembled masses celebrating Remembrance Day at the Butterdome on November 11, 2003. Her words here, perhaps unsurprisingly, echo my own feelings.
Ladies and Gentlemen—
It is a tremendously important project, because, after all, the lessons of history are lost if we allow our memories to die, even if those memories cause terrible grief. So to founder Mark Norman and everyone else who made the project a reality, I offer gratitude and congratulations. You’ve done history a great service.
We can never truly repay our veterans for their heroism, but we can, and must, remember it. Not just for the sake of honouring the fallen, but for the sake of the millions of people on our planet—the current generation of Canadians among them—who have never had to endure the horrors of war, thanks to their sacrifices.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Our soldiers pay the price for our lack of imagination, and if we ever hope to close that bloody account, then we must find a way to bring lasting prosperity and freedom to all the peoples of the world.
So this Remembrance Day, I believe all of us should do two things: we should pay our respects to the thousands of Canadian soldiers who gave their lives for freedom, and then we should look for ways to ensure that one day, we can enjoy peace and prosperity without those sacrifices. It is the only meaningful way to pay the debt we owe our veterans.