Order of Military Merit Investiture Ceremony
Rideau Hall, Friday, November 7, 2014
My wife, Sharon, and I are pleased to welcome you to Rideau Hall for this very special ceremony.
Before I begin, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of Private Steven Allen who passed away this week following a training accident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Private Allen’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.
As governor general and commander-in-chief, I have the great privilege of meeting regularly with the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, and of recognizing their service to Canada.
The Canadian Armed Forces is a very special organization. I was once again reminded of this during my recent State and official visits to Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
While in these countries, I participated in solemn ceremonies in places including Ypres, Passchendaele and Bergen-op-Zoom, where brave Canadians lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. Everywhere I went, people spoke gratefully about the contributions of Canadian Armed Forces members.
This is the legacy each of you has inherited.
Today, you are being honoured for your hard work, your leadership and your commitment to excellence.
And while the circumstances of those historic conflicts differed greatly from the challenges we face today, the bravery and dedication of our men and women in uniform has remained constant.
As new members of the Order of Military Merit, each of you is proof of that.
I am proud to bestow the Order of Military Merit upon you. But I know that achievements such as yours are not made alone. We also owe a debt of thanks to your loved ones, whose support and encouragement have enabled you to serve our country.
Next week we will be celebrating Remembrance Day. We must never forget those who have fallen and been wounded in the line of duty, and your consistent willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty is perhaps the greatest tribute you can pay to those who went before you.
And of course, your work is essential in helping the Canadian Armed Forces defend the democratic values of Canada.
Once again, we live in rapidly-changing, uncertain times, and it is not always clear what the future holds. But your dedication remains constant, and we are truly fortunate to be able to count on you.
Congratulations on your remarkable achievements, and thank you for your service to Canada.