Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on National Peacekeepers' Day

Ottawa, Ontario
8 August 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today to mark Canada’s first National Peacekeepers’ Day:

“Today we honour those Canadians who have served as peacekeepers around the world.

It was Canadians who invented peacekeeping.  For decades members of the Canadian Forces have been the most enthusiastic participants in, and experienced leaders of, peacekeeping operations around the world.  Peacekeeping is part of Canada’s strong military tradition.  It is also a symbol of our country’s commitment to building a more safe and secure world.

The word “peacekeeping” can be deceiving as it often involves service in some of the most dangerous regions of the world.  Indeed, on this day 34 years ago, nine Canadians lost their lives while serving in a peacekeeping operation – the largest one-day loss of peacekeepers in Canadian history.  Today we honour all who sacrificed so much in order to protect the lives of others.

Peacekeeping is one of the examples why the world needs a strong and vigorous Canada.  Today, with our investments in a modern military, Canada is better able to contribute to international operations that bring security and stability to those who need it most.

On this day, I encourage all Canadians to say “thank you” to all of those who have served our country as peacekeepers. They, like everyone else who serves our country in uniform, continue to make their fellow Canadians proud.”