Presentation of Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) and Decorations for Bravery
Rideau Hall, Tuesday, April 4, 2017
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
I’m pleased to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall, where we so often honour our military men and women.
Today, we celebrate acts of meritorious service and bravery.
With these awards, we ensure two things:
The first being that we can share your stories widely, that all Canadians are made aware of your actions.
The second being that we can say thank you for all that you do.
And we are truly grateful. Your actions have brought great honour to the Canadian Armed Forces at home and abroad.
But more than that, your actions have changed lives and saved lives.
No matter if you were assigned a challenging task or happened upon a circumstance that required your help, all of you threw yourselves into the unknown with equal dedication.
And you did so selflessly, thinking of the well-being of others—of the efficiency of the CAF, of your comrades-in-arms, of our partners overseas, or even of complete strangers who needed your aid.
Your sense of what was right may have driven you, but the fact that you dove in headfirst despite the risk or the unknown complications involved does not surprise those who know what you stand for.
We put our trust in you every day, after all.
We trust you will protect us.
That you will perform your duties with professionalism.
That you will serve Canada to the best of your ability.
And we are rewarded time and again when we see how reliable you are. I’ve seen this first-hand.
As commander-in-chief, I’ve been privileged to meet with many in our Canadian Armed Forces.
At honours ceremonies, at bases across Canada or overseas, I’ve experienced what it means to put on the uniform and the great responsibilities that go with it.
And what impresses me is how eager and willing you are to learn, to do better, to represent the values that we as a country hold dear.
We are strengthened by your service—both on duty and off—a responsibility you don’t take lightly.
Your actions make a difference and change the world. And whether you’re receiving a Meritorious Service Decoration or a Decoration for Bravery, you are continuing to cement our trust in you and in the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.
I know you wear your uniform with pride. And Canadians take pride in what you do.
Today, all of us salute your efforts and say thank you for your devotion to our country and its people.
Congratulations on this well-deserved honour.