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Senators' Statements

Victory in Europe Day
Sixtieth Anniversary
May 5th, 2005


Hon. W. David Angus: Honourable senators, as we all know, May 8 is the sixtieth anniversary of the victory in Europe for Canada and our allies. In many places around the world today, celebrations are taking place and people are remembering, just as Senator Banks has so articulately outlined. It is difficult for us to imagine just what it was like for all those men and women who were able to experience the emotion and celebration of the end of the war in Europe firsthand. These young Canadian men and women had left their homes and their families to fight for those basic and wonderful values that we as Canadians all cherish and believe in.

Our military personnel did not go to war to fight for power, influence or territory. Our soldiers travelled across the sea for a completely different reason. Canadians engaged in World War II to stop aggressive and misguided nations from undermining the fundamental pillars of our way of life: freedom, justice, and peace. These people came from all across Canada and from all walks of our life. There were teachers, farmers, musicians, businessmen and professionals, to mention just a few of the vocations that our valiant soldiers were drawn from. Regardless of their diverse backgrounds, these Canadians bonded together in adversity. They ventured overseas with one goal in common — the preservation of freedom, justice and peace.

On May 8, 1945, the war was over in Europe. After years of perseverance and sacrifice, the brave Allied Forces had finally overcome. The war was over and they were victorious. Now that the war was over these men and women, who so honourably had served our nation, could come home, and they could celebrate with their loved ones and their fellow Canadians.

Sixty years later, in 2005, we still celebrate this signal accomplishment, and 60 years from now, let us all hope, we will still be doing the same thing and with equal, if not greater, enthusiasm. Today, there are those who suggest that freedom is something we take for granted. Since freedom is something that is part of our everyday life, there is perhaps a tendency to forget that without the gallant heroism of our World War II soldiers the fundamental freedoms we experience and share today would not exist. We derive great pride from the fact that Canadians continue to uphold these same cherished freedoms in our continuing missions abroad.

Honourable senators, let us never forget those who have so bravely upheld our values on the battlefields of Europe, as well as those who continue the noble pursuit of freedom, justice and peace.



© Copyright Senator W. David Angus 2004
Senate of Canada