November is an emotional and reflective time for many of us in Lacombe, as we remember the more than one and a half million members of the Canadian armed forces – including most recently our very own Master Corporal Bryon Greff – who served our country in times of need, and who laid down their lives to defend our most deeply-held values – democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.
We honour the sacrifice made by those who answered the call throughout our nation’s history, and we salute those who continue to step forward to serve in our armed forces as peacekeepers, in conflict zones or to help out with disaster relief efforts around the world and at home.
Also, we must not forget the sacrifices made by the families of these brave men and women. We thank them for allowing their loved ones to serve and protect our nation.
This year’s Remembrance Day service at the Lacombe Memorial Centre was especially poignant, in light of the recent attacks on members of our armed forces and on one of our most cherished institutions, the Canadian Parliament.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our fallen soldiers, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, and with all Canadians affected by the brutal and violent attacks.
The people of Lacombe stand united with our fellow Canadians in condemning these senseless attacks on our society and our values, and we are firm and steadfast in our resolve to not be intimidated by those who wish to impose their beliefs through intimidation and violence.
They will not succeed in dividing our society by sowing suspicion and mistrust, nor will they succeed in diminishing our community spirit!
I want to assure our citizens that the City of Lacombe and the Lacombe Police Service are working closely with our provincial and federal partners to monitor and evaluate the most recent information about the safety of our community.
While these tragic events remind us that we need to be vigilant in our municipal emergency preparedness, I have every confidence in our law enforcement agencies to keep our community and our country safe.
In closing, I would like to state that I am very proud and thankful to live in a multicultural, multiethnic society where we can discuss all types of issues in a civil fashion, and where we have the ability to disagree without fear of censure.
Canada is a representative democracy, where all citizens have the right to participate, either directly or indirectly, in making the decisions that affect them. Our democratic values – which so many Canadians have died defending – are very important, and for a representative democracy to work best, it is important that you share your thoughts about local governance with me or with other council members.
Council has made it a priority to be receptive to residents’ concerns, and to communicate with the public with openness and transparency in mind.
We may not always agree, but your right to bring forward issues, concerns and recommendations to those you have elected to public office is what democracy is all about. This is the enduring legacy that our veterans have left us.
Steve Christie is the mayor of Lacombe.