Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart and the greatest humility that I stand today in honour of the bravest among us. Today we add nine names to the Book of Remembrance, where they will be honoured and remembered alongside the 118,000 other Canadians who have given their lives in service to this country.
I have the privilege to be the member of Parliament for Fredericton, home of CFB Gagetown. I live alongside citizens who are serving this country as members of the armed forces, many who have retired from service and many more who are the spouses, parents and children supporting loved ones who serve. They are all a critical part of the fabric of my community.
Military service is not glamourous. Those who have made the decision to serve have done so selflessly and acknowledge that they are putting their lives on the line to defend our nation. Today we think of these nine service members, some of them in the spring of their lives, others nearing the end of a long career. In various positions and serving in various ranks, they are united in their love for this country and for their bravery. We will never forget them.
We must also never forget that beyond their uniform, they lived rich, full lives. They were loved by parents, spouses, children, neighbours and friends. Their family members have also made an unthinkable sacrifice for our country, and with one foot in front of the other, they will learn to continue living without a piece of their heart. The motto of Base Gagetown is “diligence”. Those we have lost have demonstrated diligence in their service.
Today we demonstrate diligence in our memory of the nine Canadian Armed Forces members we lost last year: Leading Seaman Eric Keen, Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Brenden MacDonald, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, Captain Jennifer Casey and Master Sailor James McCourt. Pro patria. Lest we forget.