Mr. Speaker, Veterans' Week begins this Sunday, and I wish to encourage all Canadians to participate in activities and ceremonies in honour of those who have served our country and those who continue to serve.
This week, I will be thinking of all of the veterans across the country. We will remember the 1.7 million Canadians and Newfoundlanders who fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century to defend peace, freedom, democracy and human rights.
We will remember the 12,000 first nations, Métis and Inuit veterans. We will remember the hundreds of Black men who took part in the No. 2 Construction Battalion. They risked their lives to support Canada's war efforts, even as they faced systemic racism and discrimination at home and abroad. We must remember them and we must honour them.
We will remember the 125,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the over 4,000 civilian police officers who participated in peacekeeping operations around the world. We are grateful to them for that.
We will remember women veterans and the thousands of other veterans and active members who belong to other under-represented groups who had to overcome so many challenges to wear Canada's military uniform.
We will also remember the 4,200 Canadian Armed Forces members and 450 RCMP members who participated in one of the largest domestic military operations in our country's history: the Swissair flight 111 tragedy in September 1998.
No matter where or how they served, every veteran's experience has been unique.
This Veterans' Week is a time to reflect on the many ways in which these brave individuals have made a difference both at home and abroad while wearing the uniform.
In times of war, military conflict and peace, our men and women in uniform have performed the difficult and demanding work required of them, often at great personal risk. At this year's Invictus Games in Germany, I once again saw just how much our veterans have had to overcome. It reminded me that a veteran's support network can change everything.
I was reminded of how, when veterans serve, their families also serve with them. This week, I hope that all are reminded of these veterans and their families too. I hope everyone is reminded of their service, their sacrifices and the battles they still fight today.
In return, we are committed to providing them with the support and services they need, when and where they need them. It is the least we can do for those who have given their all for us.
This Veterans' Week, as we mark 75 years since the first UN peacekeeping mission began and 35 years since the UN peacekeeping forces received the Nobel Peace Prize, we reflect on all that our veterans have sacrificed to uphold peace, democracy and human rights.
We solemnly remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and we pay tribute to veterans and active military personnel for their invaluable contribution to peace and security around the world.
On November 11, we will pause to reflect on the sacrifices they have made and the freedoms we enjoy today as a result.
Lest we forget.