Honouring Ontario's Fallen Soldiers
Premier McGuinty Presents New "Tribute To The Fallen" To Families
Premier Dalton McGuinty today formally honoured the heroism, valour and sacrifice of Ontario's fallen soldiers by presenting a new tribute to their families.
"I know it may seem strange to talk about love when we speak about war, but only love can explain the depth of the sacrifice we have seen," said Premier McGuinty. "And of all the tributes that we can pay to the fallen, of all the gifts that we can bring, love is the most important of all."
Premier McGuinty made his remarks at a formal ceremony recognizing military personnel who have fallen in the line of duty. General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, and Major-General Richard Rohmer attended the ceremony.
Since 2002, 17 Ontarians have been killed while serving as members of the Canadian Forces. At today's ceremony, Premier McGuinty presented Ontario's new "Tribute to the Fallen" plaque to 10 families in attendance. The framed tribute consists of a specially designed trillium and a brass plate with a commemorative inscription.
From 2002 forward, fallen members of the Canadian Forces, firefighters and police officers in Ontario will be honoured posthumously with this tribute. The tribute was designed in consultation with military officials, firefighters and police officers in Ontario. Presentations recognizing fallen police officers and firefighters will be made at their respective memorials each year.
"We have been reminded in the last few months of just how dangerous the job of the men and women of the Canadian Forces is," said General Hillier. "The families of the fallen soldiers deserve our national recognition, our profound respect and our deepest gratitude for their sacrifice. I am humbled by their dignity and grace. Despite their grief, they acknowledge and continue to support the noble work our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and airwomen are doing to protect all Canadians at home and abroad."
"It is my hope and prayer for all the families here today that you may be lifted up," said Premier McGuinty. "We are all deeply grateful for the heroism, valour and sacrifice of these soldiers -- a sacrifice we pledge to never, ever forget."