On the fifth anniversary of Operation Syrian Refugees, Justin Trudeau had an emotional message to share with the thousands of people that now call Canada home.

In an Instagram post shared on Thursday, he reflected on the response that brought nearly 73,000 Syrian refugees to over 350 communities across Canada.

“It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since the first Syrian refugees arrived in Canada as part of Operation Syrian Refugees,” the prime minister wrote.

He explained that many people were “fleeing conflict, insecurity, and persecution,” but said they were welcomed here with “open arms, open hearts, and an outpouring of support.”

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As part of his hopeful message, the PM acknowledged the successes of those who now call Canada home.

“Many of these refugees have learned English and French, some have become successful students, and others are now Canadian citizens,” he said.

Trudeau went on to praise the new business owners and entrepreneurs that have emerged, as well as the “countless others” that continue to give back to their communities.

This is what is possible in a country that’s guided by inclusion, and the understanding that our diversity is our strength,” he added.

He concluded the heartfelt message by speaking directly to anybody who came to Canada as part of the program.

“I hope you’ve felt safe and welcome these past five years,” he said. “This is your home - and we’re so glad you’re here.”

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