First, let me start by saying Congratulations to each of you upon your graduation from the Royal Military College of Canada, and your commissioning as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. There is no greater honour than to serve your country.
I would also like to recognize the loss that your class has experienced. Any loss of a classmate can be devastating. However, a loss so close to graduation, at a time when your friends and families are set to gather to celebrate your accomplishments, is particularly crushing.
My class have lost classmates as well. We have lost them due to their military service as well as after. What I can tell you about experiencing that kind of loss is that I do remember them. I remember our time together at the college, over summers, in the service, and the times that connected each of those periods. I miss them all.
But that, in my opinion, is what separates our shared experiences as military college cadets, graduates and military officers from any other group. We are unique in our experiences. That serves as a bond between us. And that is one of the reasons why I accepted the role as my class secretary. You see, as time passed, and we started to get older, I realized that these people that I had shared those years with were very important to me. Arguably, some of the most important people in my life. As time passed, I found that I was becoming more and more excited about opportunities to spend time with these people. To share new stories. Listen to their new experiences and most of all the laughter those stories led to. One of my greatest pleasures is arranging class events where we get to spend some of that valuable time together.
So, while it may seem that these are likely the ramblings of someone who was born practically in the middle of the last century, it is also the voice of experience. And with that experience, I urge you to keep that contact between yourselves as a class. Embrace that unique relationship you all have because of your time at the College. The friendships you have made at RMC will last you a lifetime. Remember your losses. Celebrate their lives. Remember the time you spent together. Celebrate yourselves. Because, honestly, that is what your classmates would want.
Once again, Congratulations, and welcome to the RMC Alumni. You are all so very welcome.
All my very best, and
14559 Steven Gable, Class Secretary, Class of 1984
Dear Class of 2022,
I was heartbroken to learn of the tragic accident that took the lives of your classmates right before graduation, and I write with tears in my eyes at the loss for their families and for you.
It’s hard to imagine how life will go on without them, but it will. The best you can do is remember them well. Keep them alive in memory and indeed take a moment to write to their parents so that they know how much you loved them, and how much you will miss them such that their families are embraced in an outpouring of love and remembrance.
You will be embarking on busy and fulfilling careers of adventure and achievement. You might remember your old buds who would have been right beside you a year, ten or maybe thirty years from now. Let the class and their families know that they live on your memory as the bright and fearless young people of possibility that that they were. Acknowledge their contribution to your life and how that contribution will live with you maybe even into the next century or onto another planet.
Truth Duty Valour
14516 Hussain Ali-Khan, Class of 1984