Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Canada-U. S. defense partnership turns 50

Happy 50th, NORAD

National Post Published: Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12th, 2008, marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Canada-U. S. defense partnership, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). We have a lot of things to be proud of in the most successful bilateral relationship the world has ever known, and the most profound example may well be the 50 years of security provided to our people through this important partnership.

NORAD was born a decade after the valiant heroes of the Second World War had confronted and defeated the tyrants of their day and returned home to Canada and the United States, determined to keep the homeland secure.

Their vision would become the most successful and unique peacekeeping agreement the world has ever known. In May, 1958, the people of our two sovereign nations partnered to form NORAD, monitoring the skies, and now also the seas, for man-made threats to North America.
And we've have many occasions to be thankful for their vision since.

During the murderous attacks of September 11, 2001, when North American air space was closed and the U. S. Air Force were ordered to shoot down any threatening aircraft, a Canadian general was sitting in the NORAD chair making those life and death decisions. It was a vivid example of the breadth and depth of trust that exists between our nations.

Today, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of NORAD, the relationship remains even more vital. We face a different enemy with different tactics on different battlefields, but one whose goals remain the same: destroy what freedom has built. And so today we face the same choices: confront terror and tyranny or look away.

Happy Anniversary, NORAD, and may God bless all who protect and all those they willingly serve.

By David H. Wilkins, ambassador of the United States to Canada.

No comments: