Taking time to remember sacrifices

Since becoming your Member of Parliament in Ottawa I have come to accept that travelling has become a large part of my life.

Since becoming your Member of Parliament in Ottawa I have come to accept that travelling has become a large part of my life.

Travelling around the riding and of course flying back and forth between Ottawa and Okanagan-Coquihalla are weekly and sometimes daily occurrences.

That is what made this past Sept. 11 such a thought provoking day for me.

I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like to have been a passenger aboard United Airlines flight 93, who had been hijacked and learned in short order that the hijackers intended to use the plane as a weapon of death and destruction to kill hundreds and possibly thousands of innocent people.

Those passengers decided that as members of a free and democratic society they would fight back and ultimately sacrificed their own lives in order to save the lives of others.

This past Sunday I attended a memorial service at Penticton’s restored Veterans Memorial Park beside the Penticton courthouse.

Veterans and first responders attended to dedicate a first responder cairn, out of respect for the sacrifice of the many RCMP, fire fighters and paramedics who gave their lives so that others might live.

My visit to the park reminded me that it was not just on Sept. 11 that lives were lost in the fight against tyranny and oppression in the defence of a free and democratic society.

Veterans Memorial Park, and others like it, are a reminder of our proud Canadian history for standing up to fight for our great country and the values we all share as Canadians. I realize that it may not be Remembrance Day, but I believe it is important that we are always mindful of the immense sacrifices that came before us and that we never forget the past and the need to work together for our future.

Last week I was back in Ottawa for our government caucus retreat and much of our discussion revolved around legislation and policy that will be on the agenda for the upcoming fall sitting of the House of Commons.

The retreat also provided an opportunity to meet with several ministers directly and share concerns that have been relayed to me by constituents.

I was very encouraged to learn that in spite of the vast size of the government of Canada, the ministers I spoke with were very approachable and well briefed on the issues I brought forward on your behalf. In the coming weeks I will be able to share further information on some of the issues currently being worked on in Ottawa.

Once the House of Commons resumes I will also work hard to share with you details and information on new bills that are introduced into the house and will be available to respond to any questions or enquiries that you may have.

I believe that communication is very important and that taxpayers deserve timely information to stay informed on issues that are of importance.

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and can be reached at dan.albas@parl.gc.ca