We should pause to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as the families they left behind. Twenty-four Canadians were among those who were murdered on that black day, and thousands of others were impacted through the loss of their family members, colleagues, neighbours or friends. Today we mourn them all.
It was in the dark days that followed the terrorist attacks that the world saw the very best of our province and our country. As someone from a border community, I saw how local families opened up their hearts and opened their homes to people who were stranded by the attacks.
In honour of the selfless compassion shown by volunteers throughout Canada, Prime Minister Harper has declared September 11th to be a National Day of Service. I hope people throughout Ontario and all of Canada will honour these selfless heroes of 9/11 by finding ways to give back to our own communities.
This is also a day for us to pause and appreciate our democratic freedoms. Today Ontario is in the middle of a peaceful democratic election, and we should never take for granted just how rare and special this is. We must never forget that there are still those in the world who would seek to use violence and terror to destroy the freedoms we hold dear.
Today we also honour the brave men and women who protect us by serving our country in uniform, as well as the military families here at home. In particular we honour the servicemen and servicewomen who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the Canadian values of freedom, democracy and equality for all.
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We should never forget those who use irrational violence and terror to put innocent people in jail for innocent behaviour. Stop the violent terror of marijuana Prohibition. Incarcerate the dark undemocratic tyrants.