Holiday message from the Governor General to members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Diplomatic Corps

December 20, 2023

Over the past year, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with members of the Canadian Armed Forces and with those serving at our diplomatic missions abroad. To all of you, I would like to express the gratitude of all Canadians. Your devotion to duty and to our country is inspiring, especially as we also consider the many people who find themselves away from home during the holiday period.

The work you do is valuable and vital for our nation. Wherever you are, you bring Canada with you; you create Canada in small spaces and bring a taste of home to Canadians living and travelling abroad. In all that you do, it is important for you to know that your service and your sacrifices make a difference.

In September, I had the privilege of meeting with His Excellency Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine. During his visit to Canada, I shared with him an important word in my maternal language, Inuktitut: ajuinnata. The word means perseverance and committing to action, no matter how difficult the situation. He later shared this word in the House of Commons and with the world. In that moment, it was clear to me: Canadians are practising ajuinnata on a global stage: always striving to improve lives, to help others, to build a better and stronger country and world.

I am grateful for all that you do, as are so many Canadians, from coast to coast to coast. I wish you the very best during this holiday season and into the new year.

Mary Simon

Media information:
Rideau Hall Press Office

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