September 15: Rock Solid Support in Rocky Mountain House

After a brief ceremony at the Rocky Mountain House arena, hundreds of schoolchildren, along with their teachers, locals and dignitaries sat in the stands before the Portraits of Honour Mural cheering their support for our troops. 

Each of them waved a small Canadian flag,  and looking out at the sea of red and white, and the young faces full of joy and promise and potential, it was easy to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the brave men and women that have helped to provide a future for these young people that is safe and full of opportunity.

Young girls sat in the crowd, provided with the chance for education just like their male counterparts, an opportunity that until recently, with the help of Canadian troops, was not available to girls in Afghanistan. All the children in the crowd  have the ability to dream as big as they want to, pursuing any career they choose, having a family or remaining single, travelling freely and practicing any religion they want, or no religion at all. These are the freedoms hard won by those who have fallen in service to our country. 

Throughout Canada's history young people with dreams of their own, have put aside their wants to serve our country and create the Canada we enjoy today. We are forever indebted to them for this sacrifice, particularly those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and will never get to enjoy the future they helped to build. The very least we can do is show our appreciation for this sacrifice by coming together to remember, honour and celebrate them.