It was great to see many people in Camrose and Stettler this year for Remembrance Day.
I know, despite fog and poor weather, most had good Remembrance Day services. After speaking and laying the Government of Canada Wreath at the Camrose Service, I managed to be in Stettler later in the day and meet constituents gathering after the ceremonies at the Legion Hall. I am pleased to say that in our large constituency, we have about two dozen communities that always commemorate Remembrance Day. As your Member of Parliament, over the years I have tried to attend as many as I can – large and small.
Many men and women came from the prairies to serve in the World Wars and fight for our way of life. Many came from communities right here in our riding. There were great sacrifices for families throughout the rural areas as farmers left for military service. Many hoped it would be for a short duration. Everyone feared that loved ones would not return. Many did not.
Canada and our allies were not just fighting against the threats and violence sweeping Europe; we were fighting for our own values as well. Canadians knew that we would have to stand up for the kind of country we wanted to build and be proud of.
Throughout the ceremonies on Remembrance Day, many of us experience moments when we are ‘jolted’ into thinking about how fortunate we are to be living in a country where we have freedom, liberties and opportunities. Speaking with folks on Remembrance Day, I detected a feeling that too often we are focussing on apologies for mistakes or ‘blemishes’ on our nation’s 150 year history. Yet, we have not lived with a ‘defeatist’ attitude over our history.
There are times for national apologies, and after that, we must forge ahead. We have done this since Confederation and have built a strong country. We continue to address ‘wrongs’ that have been committed. We carry on determined to create a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.
Canada is a beautiful story of a country constantly bettering itself, and consistently offering a refuge to many around the world. We work through the imperfections of the day. Ours is a story of prosperity, compassion, liberty, and human rights.
Over the last century, leaders from around the world have addressed the House of Commons and expressed their admiration of Canada and our peace, order, and good government. It is true that Canadians are self-deprecating, yet the rest of the world tells us we occupy a special place in the fellowship of free nations and are the envy of other countries.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail Kevin.Sorenson.firstname.lastname@example.org.