COC photo: Mike Dembeck

We will always remember

Thirty Canadian Olympians participated in 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies across Canada today, representing Canada’s athletes and laying wreaths at the annual events to remember our country’s members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

“It is always important to take this time every year to remember the people who gave their lives to protect us,” said 2012 Olympic gold medallist Rosie MacLennan, who laid a wreath at the National Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa. “We owe them all such a debt of gratitude and I’m proud to be here to honour their sacrifice.”

Canadian Olympians paid tribute to servicemen and women at ceremonies in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax and Fredericton.

“It is an honour to represent my fellow Olympians and thank the men and women of the Armed Forces,” said two-time Olympic fencer Philippe Beaudry, who honoured veterans at a ceremony in Montreal. “They fought for us all and Canadians can be very proud of them.”

“Our veterans are real heroes and that’s why we are here to pay tribute to them,” said Canoe-Kayak Olympian and World Champion Karen Furneaux. “Today is a special day — a day to say ‘thank you’.”

“They made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said Olympic Beach Volleyball player Martin Reader, who attended a ceremony at Toronto’s old city hall. “These men and women represented our country with the greatest honour and we can never forget.”

“We are so lucky to live in a free country, like Canada,” said Olympic rower Doug Vandor, who participated in a Remembrance Day ceremony in Vancouver. “That freedom is so precious and I’m proud to say thanks today to the men and women who helped preserve that freedom.”

“We are forever in the debt of every man and woman who fought for our freedom,” said 1984 Judo Olympian Fred Blaney, who participated in the Fredericton, NB ceremony. “Thank you for your sacrifice.”

“Words don’t do justice to the bravery and honour of our Armed Forces,” said Olympian Kevin Kowalyk, who laid a wreath in Winnipeg. “I am proud to honour Canadian heroes.”

“Today is a day to remember that freedom isn’t free,” said 2008 Olympian Emanuel Parris, who represented Canada’s athletes at the Edmonton ceremony. “Our veterans gave us this gift and we are forever thankful.”

“It is an honour and a privilege to represent my fellow Olympians and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have protected our lives with theirs,” said Olympic luger Ian Cockerline. “Canada is the country it is, thanks to the courage of the men and women of the Armed Forces.”

–  COC photo: Mike Dembeck