Order of Military Merit

May 24, 2024

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Welcome to Rideau Hall and to this presentation of the Order of Military Merit.

Before we begin, I want to acknowledge that we are gathered on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people.

This land acknowledgement is part of the full history of Canada, which includes Indigenous stories and voices. Stories about courageous Indigenous peoples who served in the Canadian Armed Forces, in conflicts dating back more than a century. Their contributions need to be shared.

As commander-in-chief, I’m proud to learn your stories and to share them with Canadians.

I want to help Canadians understand what you do on a daily basis and why that is so important. You are there to protect us, support us and represent us. Whether at home or abroad, you have served Canada with dignity and distinction.

Today, we celebrate your accomplishments.

You have acted with exceptional merit, and embraced the values the military stands for. You serve with integrity and courage. Your actions display loyalty and excellence.

Now, we recognize your hard work.

We also know that what you do is not easy. It is a challenging profession. The dangers you face are not always visible. It can impact body and mind alike. This can take a toll, not only on you, but also on your families.

As you balance the demands and sacrifices of duty, I hope you can connect with each other. I encourage you to share your experiences and to promote good mental health. Create and support networks of resilience. Today, with all of you gathered here, could be an opportunity to develop these networks for mental health, for you and for the next generation.

There is so much to be proud of in what you do and what you have accomplished… so much to celebrate. You inspire all of us with your service.

Let me finish by thanking your families, some of whom are here with us today. Our country is grateful for your sacrifice and support.

To all of you being invested or promoted in the Order of Military Merit, congratulations. This honour is well deserved and something to be proud of.

Thank you.