Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid
Hello everyone. Thank you for being here on this day that gives us a feeling of both sadness and pride. And thank you, Lieutenant-Colonel Gauthier, for that beautiful introduction.
Distinguished veterans, dear delegation members, dear friends, it is an honour to be here with you at the National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark the 75th anniversary of the raid on Dieppe. And it is a privilege to attend this historic commemoration with our Canadian delegation that has just recently returned from France.
Welcome home to all of the delegation members. We hope you will share your unique experience with your fellow Canadians.
I also want to thank our veterans and current servicemen and women who are here with us today. Your commitment to protecting us, to keeping us safe, is typically Canadian. You embody the best of what this country is about. We thank you and will always be grateful to you.
A few weeks ago I had the immense privilege of meeting a fine gentleman by the name of Stanley Hugh Edwards who’s here today. Stanley was a proud member of the 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment. We chatted while I was in Calgary. He told me about his life and about his time at Dieppe.
And in his story I saw reflected the strength of all those who took part in the Dieppe raid 75 years ago. Boys forced too quickly to become men, men of tremendous bravery and fortitude dedicated to country. Men who battled impossible odds with courage and hope and who witnessed such a great loss of life.
Thousands captured and killed. Canadian families forever altered. Parents, siblings, spouses, and children left heartbroken. My friends we often learn a bit more about ourselves in our losses than in our victories. We grow, we persevere, we learn hard truths.
The Dieppe raid was a devastating engagement for Canadian troops and for their loved ones back home. But ultimately our soldiers learned lessons that would help secure their victory two years later on the beaches of Normandy. For those lessons, we look back on the Dieppe raid with unshakable pride. To our servicemen and women, past and present, thank you for your unwavering defence of the values we hold dear as Canadians. And thank you also for the families and caretakers of our brave veterans. Your service is important and it will not be forgotten.
This year 2017 -- Canada 150 -- it gives us the opportunity to remember a number of important milestones. The 100th of Vimy, Hill 70, Passchendaele, and the 75th of Dieppe. Today we honour those who fought with such grit and valour on the beaches of France.
As we sit here in the rain, thinking how uncomfortable we must be these minutes as our suits get wet, and our hair gets wet, and our shoes get wet, I think it’s all the more fitting that we remember on that day in Dieppe the rain wasn’t rain, it was bullets. And as we stand here 75 years later with this duty and this act of remembrance, it is all too fitting.
Today and every day we recommit ourselves to the pursuit of peace and justice for all. Today and all days, we remember.