Presentation of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals
Ottawa, Monday, September 10, 2012
It is a pleasure to join you here at the National Honours Exhibit, surrounded by so many inspiring stories of our Canadian Honours System, to present the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.
For more than seven months, Canadians across this country have been receiving these awards, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.
And what a year it has been!
Canadians have been marking this occasion in so many unique ways, celebrating in our communities, marking a life dedicated to service and duty, learning more about our history and our rich ties to the Crown.
As the representative of the Crown in Canada, and as one who has always admired The Queen’s steadfast devotion to serving others, I have been pleased to represent Canadians at a variety of events to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, including at award ceremonies such as this one.
All of you are being honoured for your service to this country. You are respected in your field, you give back to your community, you are esteemed by your peers, and many of you have been recognized in one way or another. What, then, does this award mean?
This award is a symbol: a symbol of constancy and loyalty, yes, but also a symbol of service and collaboration. And so I give you this message today: reach out to others and share your success.
All of you here—indeed, all of the recipients of this medal—have contributed so much to this country. You have strengthened our nation and as a result, it is a smarter, more caring place.
But for all that you have accomplished in your lives and in your careers, what I most look forward to is what you will do next. How can we work together, all of us in disparate fields, to build on our success as a country? After all, collaboration often leads to innovative thinking, and innovative thinking can lead to a stronger Canada.
Volunteers and philanthropists, educators and innovators, artists and entrepreneurs—as admirable as one person’s accomplishments may be, it is when we work together, when we see what we can do as a whole, that we build a better country.
And it is vital, when we consider our future, that we reach out to our country’s youth. How can you mentor young Canadians, ensuring that our success is generational?
Already, there are many young people making a difference—some have even received the Diamond Jubilee Medal—and there are others who are looking to make an impact. It is in them that we place our hope for the future, and it is in you that we place our hope for their future.
I know that the Diamond Jubilee Medal recipients will do their part, working together, to make this country a smarter, more caring nation for all.
Congratulations to all of you on this occasion and thank you for your service.