Presentation of Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) and Decorations for Bravery
Rideau Hall, Friday, April 29, 2016
It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you—men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, a member of the French Navy and a member of the United States Navy—to Rideau Hall for this celebration of meritorious service and acts of bravery.
As commander-in-chief, I’m always deeply humbled and honoured to wear the Canadian Armed Forces uniform.
Doing so helps me to imagine your remarkable service and your sacrifices.
It makes me stand a bit straighter.
It makes me walk a bit taller.
It makes me think of your sense of duty and service and professionalism.
It shows me what you stand for.
The uniform tells your friends, family and country that you have taken on a task larger than yourselves. You’re protecting our best interests, at home and abroad, and you’re working with our partners around the world.
You don’t take this responsibility lightly.
I’ve met with many members of the Canadian Armed Forces during my mandate. They never cease to impress me. Their work ethic and determination are an inspiration to all of us.
And the work you do, the honour you bring to Canada is truly exceptional.
It’s important to honour you today for two reasons:
One, to assure you that your accomplishments and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. We’re truly grateful for your service and bravery.
Two, it’s important to highlight your efforts to inspire others to reach for the same level of excellence.
The Meritorious Service Decorations and the Decorations for Bravery honour those who make a difference with their actions.
All of you in this room today have made a difference.
Your uniform is a symbol of your commitment to Canada, but it’s what you do in that uniform that really counts.
I’m proud to be commander-in-chief. I’m proud to salute your efforts and to say thank you for your service.
Canada is grateful for all that you’ve done.
Congratulations on this well-deserved honour.