September 20, 2023
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I am very happy to be here with you. As commander-in-chief, it is my honour to celebrate your courage, your determination and your dedication.
Before I begin, I would like to first acknowledge that we gather on the territory of Indigenous peoples who have lived on and cared for these lands for thousands of years.
Today, we add another historic chapter to the Four-thirty Tactical Helicopter Squadron’s story, with the consecration of a new standard and the addition of the Afghanistan battle honour.
For 80 years, this squadron has served Canadians, at home and around the world, during wars and conflicts, always holding yourselves to the highest standard of duty. This past summer, you provided much needed support to Operation LENTUS to combat wildfires in Quebec. Your help was invaluable to people and communities in danger.
But the support you provide, here in Canada and abroad, is never without cost. Never without sacrifice.
We cannot forget the sacrifices you—those who wear this uniform—have made over time. Some have been lost in conflict, others injured in the line of duty. These injuries can take many forms, with impacts on both your physical and mental health.
There is no doubt that what you do isn’t easy. I am proud to have the opportunity to thank you in person for all that you do for our country.
I would also like to acknowledge the role your families play in allowing you to serve to the best of your abilities. Their sacrifices are felt just as strongly, and we owe them all our gratitude.
The standard we present today symbolizes the commitment, pride and heritage of this squadron. And it embodies the spirit of camaraderie and unity, as well as the professionalism that drive your actions and commitment. Today, we recognize your outstanding contributions to Operation ATHENA, in Afghanistan. Your efforts were so key to the mission.
You deserve to be congratulated for 80 years of service, camaraderie and dedication.
As you mark the 80th anniversary of the “Silver Falcon” squadron, I want to congratulate you. Canadians across the country are proud of you and all that you have done and continue to do for Canada.
Swiftly and surely.