ARCHIVED - National Day of Honour

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Commander's Message / May 8, 2014 / Project number: 14-0075

To the entire Army community:

May 9 is your Day. Thank you for making Canada so proud.

The Canadian flag was lowered in Kabul on March 12, 2014, marking the end of Canada’s largest deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel since the Second World War. On March 18, it was with great pride that I welcomed back the last of our Op ATTENTION troops and celebrated the news that May 9 was declared by Royal Proclamation as National Day of Honour.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who have helped ensure the success of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan - the troops who deployed in theatre, those who provided support on the home front, their families, and their communities.

Of the 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members who deployed to Afghanistan, close to 30,000 were Army Regular and Reserve Force soldiers from across Canada. Throughout the mission, the Army team has demonstrated to Canadians and to the world that we stand: Strong, Proud and Ready. Strong in the face of adversity. Proud to represent Canada on the world stage. Ready to respond to the call of duty. Those qualities are our trademark, a testament to what our men and women in uniform are trained to do and have done so well over the last 12 years. 

Your dedication, valour, and professionalism are both humbling and truly remarkable. I commend your efforts and dedication to assisting the Afghan people in shaping their own future. With your contributions to the combat and training missions, you have made not only Afghanistan but the world, including Canada, a safer place. 

With each flight that returned from Afghanistan over the years, I was always heartened to see the joyful tears with which families, friends, and communities welcomed back their soldiers. Their love and support have helped carry you through challenging times. Yet, words cannot fully express our collective sadness for the loss of our sisters and brothers in arms. Their memories will live on in our hearts. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

In closing, I would ask you to remember the tremendous contribution you have made, remember the unique experiences you have lived and in particular, remember the Afghan and other international friends you have made over the course of the past years. Most importantly, please remember to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your sisters and brothers in arms. 

May 9 is your Day. To all of you, thank you for a job well done.

Lieutenant General Marquis Hainse, CMM, MSC, CD Commander Canadian Army

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