On May 15, 2010, Ted Arnott spoke at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 275, Fergus,
75th anniversary dinner. His remarks were as follows:
It’s always a challenge, when I’m invited to a Legion event like tonight, to even begin to
express the admiration and gratitude that those of us who are part of the “baby boomer”
generation feel for the generation which preceded us: “the Greatest Generation,” as
they were so accurately and aptly described by Tom Brokaw in his book of a few years
The Greatest Generation, whose courage, valour, and sacrifice between 1939 and
1945, literally saved the world;
The Greatest Generation, who then came home and built a framework for peaceful
prosperity, the likes of which the world had never seen before.
But the world of peace they hoped to make has proven to be elusive—a dream we have
yet to achieve.
We need no reminder of Afghanistan, as Canadians continue to make the ultimate
sacrifice, while working to bring civilization to that shattered country—building
Afghanistan, and making it safe for its own people.
When we ponder this, our words of thanks seem pale in comparison to the sacrifice they
are meant to honour.
But we do have the Legion—which, in quiet dignity, carries on to remind us that those
who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom did not do so for their own glory. They
did it to take a stand against evil, and free enslaved nations some of them had never
heard of—countries which became their final place of rest.
And this month, the world has once again taken note that the most terrible world conflict
ended 65 years ago.
For one last time, we witnessed the outpouring of emotion as Canadian veterans
returned to Holland.
The Dutch people, after all those years, have not forgotten what Canadian soldiers did
for them. Nor must we, the generations who follow. Nor will we.
And so, on this, the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of a Legion here in Fergus,
and tonight, as we gather to acknowledge 75 years of service to our returning heroes
and the community at large, let us pause for a moment tonight and tomorrow, to
remember our veterans, the friends they left behind, and the noble cause they pursued.
And let us resolve to never, ever forget.