The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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True Patriot Love Foundation Dinner

Toronto, Thursday, November 1st, 2012


It is a pleasure to be here to celebrate our men and women in uniform.

Recently, I was presented with the very first poppy of this year’s National Poppy Campaign, a precursor to Remembrance Day in less than two weeks. It is at this time that we remember the sacrifice of soldiers, those who have sustained injuries in the line of duty and those who have endured long and painful absences from home.

And here today, we have an opportunity to bring attention to those who are working so hard on behalf of soldiers and veterans, and to highlight the efforts of soldiers themselves to rehabilitate and reintegrate after coming home.

For many years, the True Patriot Love Foundation has been a great supporter of injured soldiers and has done a wonderful job at helping them recover.

One recent activity sums up perfectly what True Patriot Love is all about. The March to the Top saw a group of veterans—all of whom have suffered physical or mental injury as a result of their service—come together to climb Island Peak, in the Himalayas.

It was a story of personal triumph and a sure sign of the progress they have made. I applaud all of them for their willingness to share their struggles with Canadians. They show us that there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance, and that there is no greater force for recovery than hope.

And ultimately, that is what True Patriot Love provides: hope. They offer hope to soldiers and to the military families who sacrifice so much. And with our presence here today, we, too, acknowledge our great responsibility to care for and give the needed support to our veterans.

So many here with us today embody the never-give-up spirit of our Canadian Forces. One reason why I am so proud to be commander-in-chief is because you inspire Canadians across the country, myself included, who see what you do every day, who understand what you have done throughout your lives. You inspire us to be better people, to strive for a more peaceful and just society.

A few days ago, I was honoured to be present at the Change of Command ceremony for the chief of the Defence Staff. General Lawson is here with us today in one of his first appearances in his new role. But already, I have seen how much he cares for every single person under his command. I have seen that the Canadian Forces is in good hands.

And I have seen that dedication—whether at the head of the Forces, at the peak of a mountain, or at a turning point on the road to recovery—is a wonder to behold.

Thank you for all that you do for our veterans and for our soldiers. Thank you for your support.