“I am honoured to recognize Canadian Armed Forces Day. Alberta is the proud home to four Canadian Forces Bases and thousands of servicemen and servicewomen and their families. Today, we all have the opportunity to reflect on the remarkable contributions and sacrifices the Canadian Armed Forces and their loved ones have made for our province and our nation.

“Alberta’s connection to military service is ingrained in our history and identity. Many of the well-known units in our province have histories dating back to even before Alberta became a province. This means that for over a century, Albertans have answered the call to support and defend king and country.

“It is only fitting that we remember the courage, bravery and sacrifice of our Alberta-based troops, and I am honoured to acknowledge a handful of them here. Proud members of the Canadian Armed Forces serve in Edmonton’s Lord Strathcona’s Horse, the 1st and 3rd battalions of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the 408 Tactical Squadron, while more proud members serve in the King’s Own Calgary Regiment and the Calgary Highlanders. In total, Alberta is home to dozens of military units, both regular force and reserve, for our nation’s army, navy and air force. These include many different specialties such as medical, signal, intelligence, mechanized units and engineers.

“Current and past members have served and received battle honours for their service in the First World War, including at Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, the Somme and Vimy Ridge; in the Second World War for service in Italy, the Netherlands, broader northwest Europe, and the skies over the English Channel, Fortress Europe, France and Germany; and in Korea and Afghanistan.

“But it is not just overseas that the Canadian Armed Forces have made tangible impacts. In addition to defending our freedoms and providing humanitarian assistance abroad, our courageous soldiers, sailors and aviators have responded to emergencies at home, offering support during floods and wildfires.

“On this day and every day, we express our gratitude to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The freedoms and security we enjoy came at a high cost, and we will forever be deeply grateful to those who have fought for our great country in years past, and to those who continue to defend our nation today.”