Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the 2018 Canadian Firefighters Annual Memorial Ceremony
It is a great honour to be here today surrounded by firefighters, families, distinguished guests. I would also like to acknowledge the American paramedics, police officers and firefighters who came to participate in the annual National Firefighters Memorial Day.
One of the first lessons we teach our kids is that when you’re in trouble, call someone you trust. And that’s why when Canadians need help, we look to the fire department. Our firefighters protect us when we’re in danger. We ask these brave women and men who never let us down, to protect our families and our homes, and they answer that call, serving with courage and distinction.
A while back I visited the Fredericton York Street Fire Station, where I had the opportunity to see a rescue demo. But the most impressive part of that visit, of any visit to a fire hall across the country was meeting firefighters who talk about saving lives just as another day at work, witnessing firsthand their selfless dedication to their communities. But it is a dangerous job, and today we stop to remember the heroes who have fallen in the line of duty.
Ontario lost Jeffery Smith, Stephen Forsey, Rob Broadbent, and Randy Tureski, among others last year. The people of Alberta remember the bravery of John V. Wagontall, and James Hargrave. Saskatchewan lost Wyatt Evans; British Columbia lost Clayton Cassidy.
Quebeckers recognize and pay tribute to the sacrifice of Patrick Caron and Richard Riopel. Their names will be added to the wall of remembrance next to those who, like them, heeded the call.
They were the best of us. Every time they went to work, every time they put on their jackets, they put their lives in danger to keep people around them safe. They are the help we need when we need it, without hesitation. Just a few weeks ago in BC, I met with the folks of the Prince George Fire Control Centre and I saw firsthand as I have many times over these past years, their courage and their willingness to keep fighting wildfires until they’re out no matter how long, or how hard the job.
Today, brave firefighters are fighting forest fires and responding to emergencies in communities across the country. On behalf of all Canadians, I thank you for your service. And to families who have lost a father, or a sister, or a son, I want to assure you that their memory will remain etched in our hearts.
The bravery of the fallen calls us to match their commitment to make Canada a better place. Their sacrifice calls us to remember that there is no greater humanity than to help those in need. And when we hear that call, we honour them.