Presentation of Military Valour Decorations and Meritorious Service Decorations
Rideau Hall, Thursday, November 15, 2012
I am honoured to welcome you to Rideau Hall, home of the people of Canada, for the presentation of these decorations for military valour and meritorious service.
Let me begin by saying how pleased I am to be presenting these decorations in the presence of our new Chief of the Defence Staff, General Thomas Lawson.
I am also particularly glad to have the opportunity to salute bravery and service to Canada during this, our season of remembrance.
This is the time of year when Canadians pause to give thanks for the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families. Therefore, in addition to recognizing your achievements today, let us take this opportunity to remember that military sacrifices continue to be made on our behalf, to the present day.
For this, all Canadians are grateful.
These decorations are among the highest honours our country can award to members of the Canadian Forces and to the armed forces of our allies. You serve with so many dedicated and deserving servicemen and women, but today we honour you for your extraordinary accomplishments.
Having read your citations, I can understand why.
Simply put, each of you has shown outstanding ability and determination in the exercise of your duties. In some cases, those virtues took the form of incredible bravery and selflessness under fire. In others, you demonstrated excellence and great creativity in completing the task at hand.
In all instances, you answered the call to service in remarkable ways.
I also want to say how deeply impressed I am by the extent to which each of you showed leadership in the line of duty. You remind us that success in the Canadian Forces is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of rank or station.
With these decorations for military valour and meritorious service, your responsibility among your comrades and colleagues is now even greater. Never underestimate the power of your example to inspire others.
As governor general and commander-in-chief, I have made it my goal to help bring about a smarter, more caring Canada, where people use their talent and knowledge to improve the human condition. And I know that each of you also seeks a better world, where justice and equality prevail.
These decorations are a testament to your courage, ingenuity and quiet determination, and they also extend to your families and loved ones, who in their own way have accepted the demands of service.
And so it is with great admiration that I offer my thanks and congratulations to each of you for your service and valour.