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Justin Trudeau's eulogy given at the funeral for his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau, former prime minister of Canada.
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Justin Trudeau's Eulogy

Justin Trudeau's eulogy given at the funeral for his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau, former prime minister of Canada. Trudeau died on September 28, 2000, and is buried in the Trudeau family crypt, St-Remi-de-Napierville Cemetery, Saint-Remi, Quebec. He is survived by his ex-wife Margaret, his sons Justin Trudeau and Alexandre "Sacha" Trudeau, and his daughter, Sarah, whom he fathered with Deborah Coyne.

Justin Trudeau Justin Trudeau's Eulogy for his father.
"Friends, Romans, countrymen . .

I was about six years old when I went on my first official trip. I was going with my father and my grandpa Sinclair up to the North Pole.

It was a very glamorous destination. But the best thing about it is that I was going to be spending lots of time with my dad because in Ottawa he just worked so hard.

One day, we were in Alert, Canada's northernmost point, a scientific military installation that seemed to consist entirely of low shed-like buildings and warehouses.

Let's be honest. I was six. There were no brothers around to play with and I was getting a little bored because dad still somehow had a lot of work to do.

I remember a frozen, windswept Arctic afternoon when I was bundled up into a Jeep and hustled out on a special top-secret mission. I figured I was finally going to be let in on the reason of this high-security Arctic base.

I was exactly right.

We drove slowly through and past the buildings, all of them very grey and windy. We rounded a corner and came upon a red one. We stopped. I got out of the Jeep and started to crunch across towards the front door. I was told, no, to the window.

So I clamboured over the snowbank, was boosted up to the window, rubbed my sleeve against the frosty glass to see inside and as my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I saw a figure, hunched over one of many worktables that seemed very cluttered. He was wearing a red suit with that furry white trim.

And that's when I understood just how powerful and wonderful my father was.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The very words convey so many things to so many people. Statesman, intellectual, professor, adversary, outdoorsman, lawyer, journalist, author, prime minister.

But more than anything, to me, he was dad.

And what a dad. He loved us with the passion and the devotion that encompassed his life. He taught us to believe in ourselves, to stand up for ourselves, to know ourselves and to accept responsibility for ourselves.

We knew we were the luckiest kids in the world. And we had done nothing to actually deserve it.

It was instead something that we would have to spend the rest of our lives to work very hard to live up to.

He gave us a lot of tools. We were taught to take nothing for granted. He doted on us but didn't indulge.

Many people say he didn't suffer fools gladly, but I'll have you know he had infinite patience with us.

He encouraged us to push ourselves, to test limits, to challenge anyone and anything.

There were certain basic principles that could never be compromised.

As I guess it is for most kids, in Grade 3, it was always a real treat to visit my dad at work.

As on previous visits this particular occasion included a lunch at the parliamentary restaurant which always seemed to be terribly important and full of serious people that I didn't recognize.

But at eight, I was becoming politically aware. And I recognized one whom I knew to be one of my father's chief rivals.

Thinking of pleasing my father, I told a joke about him -- a generic, silly little grade school thing.

My father looked at me sternly with that look I would learn to know so well, and said: `Justin, Never attack the individual. We can be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating them as a consequence.'

Saying that, he stood up and took me by the hand and brought me over to introduce me to this man. He was a nice man who was eating there with his daughter, a nice-looking blond girl a little younger than I was.

He spoke to me in a friendly manner for a bit and it was at that point that I understood that having opinions that are different from those of another does not preclude one being deserving of respect as an individual.

Because simple tolerance, mere tolerance, is not enough. We need genuine and deep respect for each and every human being not-withstanding their thoughts, their values, their beliefs, their origins. Thatâs what my father demanded of his sons and thatâs what he demanded of his country.

He demanded this out of a sense of love: love of his sons, love of his country and that's why we love him so. And it's for this that we so love the letters, the flowers, the dignity of the crowds, and we say to him, farewell.

All that to thank him for having loved us so much.

My father's fundamental belief never came from a textbook. It stemmed from his deep love for and faith in all Canadians and over the past few days, with every card, every rose, every tear, every wave and every pirouette, you returned his love.

It means the world to Sacha and me.

Thank you.

We have gathered from coast to coast to coast, from one ocean to another, united in our grief, to say goodbye.

But this is not the end. He left politics in '84. But he came back for Meech. He came back for Charlottetown. He came back to remind us of who we are and what we're all capable of.

But he won't be coming back anymore. It's all up to us, all of us, now.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. He has kept his promises and earned his sleep.

Je t'aime Papa."

Final years
Pierre Memorabilia, AuctionsIn retirement Trudeau rarely gave speeches or spoke to the press. However, his interventions into public debate had a significant impact when they occurred. Trudeau wrote and spoke out against both the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord arguing that they would weaken federalism and the Charter of Rights if implemented--his opposition was a critical factor leading to the defeat of the two proposals. He also spoke out against Jacques Parizeau and the Parti Québécois with less effect. In his final years Trudeau commanded respect in English Canada but was regarded with suspicion in Quebec due to his role in the 1982 constitutional deal which was seen to have excluded the province. Trudeau also remained active in international affairs visiting foreign leaders and participating in international associations such as the Club of Rome.

In the last years of his life Trudeau was afflicted with Parkinson's disease and became less active though he continued to work at his law office until a few months before his death. He was devastated by the death of his youngest son, Michel, who was killed in an avalanche in November 1998.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau died on September 28, 2000, and is buried in the Trudeau family crypt, St-Remi-de-Napierville Cemetery, Saint-Remi, Quebec. He is survived by his ex-wife Margaret, his sons Justin Trudeau and Alexandre "Sacha" Trudeau, a journalist, and his daughter, Sarah, whom he fathered with Deborah Coyne.

A plan to rename Mount Logan, Canada's highest mountain, for Prime Minister Trudeau was considered, but ultimately rejected. Instead, it was announced on August 21, 2003, that Montreal Dorval International Airport would be renamed Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in his honour.

Also, a plan is under consideration to name a mountain in British Columbia's Cariboo Range for the prime minister. The peak is located in the "Premier Range," many of which are named for British and Canadian prime ministers.[1] (

There was also discussion of renaming Highway 417 in Ontario the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Freeway by Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government in 2003.

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