Saturday we paid our respects to the lives lost on September 11, 2001, focusing on the Canadians who were killed. We also remembered the brave soldiers who lost their lives during the war with Afghanistan.
A small, intimate remembrance garden in north-east London was our choice of venue. The sky was a clear blue, very similar to this date in 2001. May the victims rest in peace and may we never forget.
We are here at Remembrance Gardens in London, a small garden to remember those who perished as they fought for our freedoms throughout the many wars that Canada has been involved in. Today we remember the Canadian victims of 9/11.
Last year, we laid a wreath in Downtown London at the cenotaph. We have chosen this venue this year out of sensitivity for the city of London because of the killing of a Muslim family this past June. Although we denounce this violence and loss of life, we continue to warn of radicalism within the Islamic community.
We have not rallied as Pegida Canada since last year at this time. Our world is preoccupied with Covid 19 and everything that goes with it, including loss of freedoms. This most certainly ties into our subject, as we also fight against tyranny from dangerous ideologies and governments.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Islamist attack on the United States of America. This attack impacted so many more than Americans. It impacted the world, and changed the way people thought, worked and lived.
This year is particularly poignant as we witness the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Afghanistan was the country of refuge for the Mastermind behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden. With this takeover of Afghanistan, experts are warning of the rise of Islamist groups being emboldened and becoming more active throughout the world.
We also remember the 158 Canadian soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. Many others came home injured or suffered psychological wounds from the war. According to the Canadian Armed Forces, 191 veterans have taken their own lives since 2011. We mourn for them and thank them for their service.
Although we continue to see attacks by individuals around the world, nothing on the scale of 9/11 has been witnessed in recent years. Having said that, each attack is one attack too many. Every psychological trauma connected with a terror attack is additional fallout.
Over the last 30 days, there were more than 92 Islamic attacks in 20 countries, in which 735 people were killed and 493 injured.
Since 9/11, there have been more than 39,000 Islamist terror attacks.
Islamism is by no means limited to terror attacks. Particularly concerning this past week was the statement by one of our MPs who called the Taliban her brothers. This has quickly moved out of the public eye, but it is very concerning indeed. We have been told countless times that terrorists do not represent Islam, yet one of our MPs calls the Taliban terrorists her brothers. There has been no outcry from the mosques about the situation in Afghanistan, nor have imams condemned it. As a matter of fact, many have lauded this takeover.
Main Stream media have put out a steady stream of articles about Islamophobia through the last few weeks, something that is totally disrespectful to the thousands that lost their lives 20 years ago today because of this ideology.
As Canada prepares for an election and continues to grapple with Covid, Islamism is relegated to the back burner. But today, we remember. The world remembers.
Sept 11. 2001 will remain in our memories as a dark day in history. Nineteen men hijacked four fuel-loaded US commercial airplanes bound for west coast destinations. A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The attack was orchestrated by the Islamist terror group al Qaeda.
Twenty six of those who perished as a result of the attacks that day were Canadians. Though we remember all of the victims, today we focus on the Canadians.
Here is a brief timeline of that day’s events concerning Canadian content.
8:38 a.m. – NORAD officials, including Canadians on duty, receive the first alert of a possible hijacked plane moving towards New York City: American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles.
8:45 a.m. – The American Airlines jet, which had taken off 45 minutes earlier, crashes into the World Trade Center’s north tower after being reported as possibly hijacked 25 minutes earlier. One Canadian, a 70-year-old who became a U.S. citizen in 1962, is on board.
9:03 a.m. – United Airlines Flight 175, also hijacked after taking off in Boston, flies into the south tower. Saskatchewan native Garnet (Ace) Bailey, a former NHL player and scout, is on board.
9:21 a.m. – The Transport Canada Situation Centre in Ottawa begins activating for the emergency.
9:50 a.m. – Collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower. Nine Canadians inside are reported killed.
10:03 a.m. – United Airlines Flight 93 whose co pilot was married to a Canadian, crashes in Pennsylvania after being hijacked.
10:28 a.m. – Collapse of the World Trade Center’s north tower. Thirteen Canadians inside are reported killed.
10:50 a.m. – Prime Minister Jean Chrétien releases a written statement: quote “There can be no cause or grievance that could ever justify such unspeakable violence. Indeed, such an attack is an assault not only on the targets but an offence against the freedom and rights of all civilized nations.
11:00-11:30 a.m. – Streets around Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada are blocked by police after reports of a suspicious package in an abandoned car near the East Block.
11:17 a.m. – All departures from Canadian airports are cancelled.
11:30 a.m. (approx) – The Canadian Forces take “executive control” of Canadian airspace, normally a wartime measure. Security is increased at military bases.
The repercussions of 9/11 continue to be felt to this day around the world.
The Canadian victims of 9/11 were Michael Arzynski, Garnet (Ace) Bailey, David Barkway, Ken Basnicki, Jane Beatty, Joseph Collison, Cynthia Connolly, Arron Dack, Frank Joseph Doyle, Christine Egan, Michael Egan, Albert Elmarry, Meredith Ewart, Peter Feidelberg, Alexander Filipov, Ralph Gerhardt, Stuart Lee, Mark Ludvigsen, Bernard Mascar-enhas, Colin McArthur, Michael Pelletier, Donald Robson, Ruffino (Roy) Santos, Vladimir Toma-sevic, Chantal (Chanti) Vincelli and Debbie Williams. We also remember LeRoy Homer. Mr Homer was the co-pilot of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. He was an American citizen, but his wife Melodie was from Hamilton, Ont.
We will place the wreath, after which we will have moment of silence followed by our national anthem.
God keep our land glorious and free.