Thunder Bay veteran thanks those who 'selflessly answer the call'
Remembrance Day is a day to practice the "gratitude attitude," according to retired Thunder Bay police inspector, Canadian peacekeeper and modern veteran Lorne Clifford, who is the guest speaker for Wednesday's Remembrance Day ceremony in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Clifford said it's impossible for most Canadians to fully understand the daily struggles of life in conflict zones around the world, but he hopes people will use the two-minutes of silence at 11 a.m. to reflect on the many advantages of life in Canada.
"I've got the opportunity to chase an education, go to church if I want to, full opportunities to express myself, full opportunities to engage in recreation the way I see fit," Clifford said.
"Those realities are something we have to be thankful for," he added.
Clifford said this year marks the 20th anniversary of Canadian police participation in international peacekeeping operations in places like Afghanistan, Haiti and Palestine.
The following are some quotes from the speech Lorne Clifford was expecting to deliver during Wednesday's Remembrance Day ceremony:
- "One hundred years before the start of the World War I, Jane Austen wrote in her ageless book, Sense and Sensibility, 'It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.'"
- "This year marks 20 years of participation in international peace operations by Canada's regional, provincial, and national policing agencies. There are some 3,800 Canadian police officers who, since 1989, have served in more than 60 peace operations in 33 countries around the world — many deployed proudly, side-by-side with the Canadian Forces in the most dangerous places in the world: Afghanistan, Haiti, the Sudan, Palestine, to name a few ... [They are] Canadian police officers who, in tumultuous situations, don battle dress and then build the capacity of foreign police and justice institutions to maintain law and order in efforts to create a safer and more stable environment for the rule of law — and thus democracy — to flourish."
- "Jane Austen's words are as poignant today as when they were published. We are still defined by what we do. Like the vets of World War I, World War II and Korea, modern veterans — knowing the risks full well — selflessly and voluntarily answer the call. All vets willingly accepted that which compels them to his duty of honour. It compels them thus — a veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank cheque payable to their government af or an amount of 'up to and including their life.' The value attached to this cheque is enormous."