Order of Military Merit Investiture Ceremony
Rideau Hall, Monday, June 8, 2015
It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall today.
You’re here because you have proven yourselves to be the embodiment of service.
Service to others.
Service to your colleagues in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Service to your country.
Service underlines everything that you do. It formed the basis of your training and has become as ingrained as your sense of loyalty and professionalism. It has guided you to creating a smarter, more caring nation for all of us.
Your service also goes hand in hand with the responsibility that you have as Canadian Armed Forces members. Each of you has brought great honour to our country by exercising leadership and initiative. In fact, I’ve been impressed by the amount of freedom that’s given to soldiers at every level to make decisions and to contribute to mission success.
I have every confidence that you will help lead our men and women in uniform to a brighter future, and that the next generation of soldiers will benefit from your expertise and dedication.
You do what you do to protect us, to make this world a better place. You’re warriors and councillors. Facilitators and ambassadors. Rebuilders of civil society and peacekeepers.
I often turn to the words of my predecessors to express the importance of what you do. Today, I’d like to share with you the words of the Earl of Athlone, who spoke in 1941 about the stakes of the Second World War and what we were fighting for: our freedom and our way of life.
“…we are going to fight for the cause of freedom of thought and liberty of conscience and for all the small, humble and harmless things that make up our daily life.”
Today, you serve in Canada and in countries around the world to ensure that we can enjoy the “small, humble and harmless things.”
But you don’t do it alone.
You sit next to your comrades-in-arms, those who would stand by you in an instant. You come from all across this country, and also the United States. You come from different backgrounds and may even speak different languages. Yet, the uniform you put on marks you as kin, as someone others can rely on. The military family is a special one, and I’m proud, as commander-in-chief, to be a part of that family.
On behalf of all Canadians, I’d like to thank you for all that you have done and for all that you continue to do for our country.