Canadian Army Command Team’s Statement on Remembrance Day 2020

Statement / November 9, 2020

Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, Commander of the Canadian Army, issued the following statement:

 “This Remembrance Day finds us in unprecedented circumstances and we cannot mark the event in quite the way we are accustomed. Canadians are nonetheless united in appreciation for our men and women in uniform, past and present, and the sacrifices they have made in defending not only Canada, but indeed the cause of peace around the world.

“The United Nations turns 75 years old in 2020, and we can be proud of the many contributions Canadians have made while serving under its flag. More than 100,000 of us – including police officers and civilians – have done so over the decades. From Lebanon to Korea, and the Balkans to Afghanistan, Canada has been, and will continue to be, a proud partner in multilateralism and cooperation across the globe.

“Here at home, the Canadian Army was an effective partner in our national COVID-19 response. Our members capably carried the torch passed from predecessors such as Canada’s Nursing Sisters. Their story is as old as Canada itself, beginning with the founding of the Canadian Army Nursing Service in 1899. They were a vital part of the World Wars, bringing comfort, compassion, and relief to the wounded. As Colonel G.W. Nicholson noted in his Nursing Sisters history, ‘Of these dedicated women it may be said ‘They served equally.’

“We can say the same of the Number 2 Construction Battalion - Canada’s first and only segregated military unit. Its members, all black Canadians, contributed to victory in the First World War through their many duties including cutting down trees and doing millwork on lumber, using and caring for horses to haul lumber, maintaining roads, and railways, and operating and maintaining complex machinery. That story was almost lost until the 1980s and we in the Canadian Army proudly marked the centenary of its disbandment this year. 

“These stories must be as much a part of the Remembrance Day tradition as our best-known achievements in places like Vimy, Normandy, or Kapyong. They are deserving of collective celebration and can also inspire as we continue the important work of ensuring the Canadian Army is as diverse and welcoming as Canada itself.

“On behalf of the Canadian Army, Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell and I offer the sincerest thanks to our fellow men and women in uniform. Your sacrifices, and those of your loved ones, are deeply appreciated.

“Lest we forget.”

Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre
Commander, Canadian Army

Chief Warrant Officer Stu Hartnell
Army Sergeant Major

Date modified: