Message from the Base Commander: Remembrance Day

Capt(N) J. Jeffrey Hutchinson

Capt(N) J. Jeffrey Hutchinson

Every year on November 11, Canadians gather to honour the sacrifice of those who have served our country. Whether during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Balkans, Afghanistan, or countless other mission at home and abroad – our Veterans have fought for the safety and peace we value today.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS). More than 6,700 Canadian women enlisted in the WRCNS during the Second World War, and were commonly referred to as Wrens. They filled dozens of essential roles, including analyzing data that helped protect ships from devastating German mines. That work saved countless lives. The Wrens not only helped to secure Allied victory but also aided the movement for gender equality, and opened doors for future generations of women in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Many of their stories are on display at CFB Esquimalt’s Naval and Military Museum, and I encourage members and their families to take time to visit and learn more about our military’s history during this time of remembrance.

As time goes by and personal connections to past conflicts become fewer, it is increasingly important to ensure the sacrifices of those who have fought bravely for our country are never forgotten. I want to express my appreciation to all those members who are participating in the National Veterans’ Week Speakers Program, helping to highlight the importance of Remembrance Day and Canada’s military at schools and workplaces in our communities.

As military members, we know the job of protecting peace and freedom is never done. There are always new challenges to face and new missions to support, both at home and abroad. As I stand at the Esquimalt Cenotaph this year, my thoughts will be with our shipmates in HMC Ships Winnipeg and Vancouver, who are currently upholding Canada’s commitment to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region, and with their loved ones who are missing them.

I know for some, this day may feel heavier than most. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out for help. Your chain of command is here to support you, and the CAF Member Assistance Program is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You are not alone.

This Remembrance Day, let us come together with our communities to remember the brave men and women who have served, those who paid the ultimate price and those who returned home but were forever changed. Let us ensure the memory of their sacrifices will continue, and the values they fought for will live on.

Lest we forget.

Capt(N) J. Jeffrey Hutchinson

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