Annual Inspection of the Ceremonial Guard
Rideau Hall, Saturday, June 25, 2016
Welcome, all of you!
It’s a great pleasure to see you here on the grounds of Rideau Hall. Taking a look around, I see men and women who are a source of great pride to Canadians across this country.
Because you’ve all answered the call to service.
You’ve served at home and abroad. You’ve served with honour and integrity.
Over the years, I have seen the many ways in which our men and women in uniform are there for us.
You’re there whenever we need your help, serving with distinction.
And today, you begin a different kind of service, one that is ceremonial in nature, and a vital part of our culture and our identity.
One thing I have learned in this job is to never underestimate the importance of ceremony.
Ceremony is a way of expressing our values, our beliefs, the qualities that make us who are.
The qualities that make us Canadian.
You symbolize these essential qualities of citizenship.
Oftentimes, whenever I’m out on the grounds of Rideau Hall, I’ll catch the skirl of the bagpipes wafting through the air.
That’s when I know that it’s summer.
You put on a great show for so many visitors at Rideau Hall, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and on Parliament Hill.
The precision, pageantry, music, colours and uniforms come together to amaze.
And nowhere is that amazement more evident than in the faces of children.
Children who march alongside you.
Children who are curious about what you stand for.
Children who wonder just what’s under those tall hats?
During my inspection just now, I spoke briefly with some of you, but I know that when you assume your duties as sentries, talk will be scarce.
But that doesn’t mean that you don’t communicate!
Your walk, your maneuvers, the aforementioned bagpipes—all tell the story of our tradition. They tell us where we came from.
Even your patience and stoicism speaks volumes!
As you embark on another summer in Ottawa, I wish all of you the very best and, when the need arises, a cool breeze!
Thank you for everything you do here, and for your service to Canada.