Presentation of Canadian Honours (La Citadelle)
The Citadelle, Quebec, Monday, October 5, 2105
I’m so pleased to welcome such a diverse group of recipients to the Citadelle of Québec.
What a wonderful place to recognize our very best!
Sharon and I always enjoy the opportunity to stay here at the Citadelle and to soak in the history of this place.
For example, just last month was the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In September 1944, my predecessor The Earl of Athlone and Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King welcomed Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Citadelle. It was here that they discussed ways to win the war.
A year later, they would get their wish.
The future they discussed 70 years ago is now history. Now, we are the ones who are writing history; the future is in our hands.
All of you are here because of your contributions to our country and to its future.
Because of your service.
Your keen sense of duty.
Your curiosity and your discovery in the North.
This is what the Canadian Honours System does. It finds the very best of us, those of you who have given back to our country in many different ways, and shines a light on your success.
And it’s up to us to share your stories far and wide.
After all, what is Canada if not the sum of our stories?
Even though Canada is preparing to celebrate its 150th birthday in 2017, our country is still young. Our narrative is just beginning. And it will be shaped by people like you.
You, the police officers who keep our communities safe.
You, the members of our Canadian Armed Forces who serve with honour and distinction.
You, the brave souls who saw someone in need and rushed headlong into action, despite the danger.
You, the archeologists who helped solve the mystery of the Franklin Expedition and who are reaffirming our connection to the North.
Today, we present the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Meritorious Service Decorations, Decorations for Bravery and the Polar Medal.
Today, we tell your stories and celebrate your accomplishments.
Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for all that you’ve done.