The above image appears in the government's book of remembrance that gives brief details of the Canadians and Americans attached, who lost their lives while serving their country. The photo is of men leaving Canada en-route to their duties so far away.
From the same book comes these two images to the right. The first with the profound message.. "Lest we Forget!" Below this is a photo of the memorial as it stood at the Kandahar Air Base before being carefully dismantled and returned to Canada with hopes of being put on display in Ottawa once a suitable location is chosen. The black slabs below the flags are difficult to see but are the marble and slate memorials to each of the fallen men and women.
At the top, left to right are the late Cpl Kenneth O'Quinn, 25, from Newfoundland, Pte John Curwin, 26, Nova Scotia, and Pte Colin Wilmot, 24 from New Brunswick. At the centre, in the same direction are Cpl Brendan Downey, 36, Quebec, Pte Joshua Klukie, 23, Ontario, and Sgt. Jason Boyes, 32, Manitoba. At the bottom of the image are Cpl James Arnaz, 25, Saskatchewan, Cpl Michael Starker, 36, Alberta, and Lt. Andrew Nuttall, 30, from British Columbia. The average age of these men was 28.5 years.
We must also honour Glyn Berry, a 59 year old civilian and diplomat serving with the reconstruction team. He was killed by a suicide car bombing attack while he travelled in a convoy about a mile SE of Kandahar. His plaque is shown above.
As noted in the last blog, there were four battalions of US troops attached to the Canadian command structure between 2009 and 2011. From these troops the US lost about 40 men and women. Canada's memorial also includes these members in this Vigil, as they should!
I am sure the Americans visiting the memorial when it was at our embassy in DC must have appreciated this gesture of our highest of respect for their heroes as well.
The two panels at the right, have been joined together, and display the plaques for these deceased American service members.(A few on top at right are Canadian men)
In April of 2008, Hull Quebec born 24 yr old Private Terry Street, was killed while on patrol when his armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the area. One of the members of his platoon in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was so moved by this soldier's death that he wrote a poem in Terry's memory. Others then carved it on this rafter, which now has become an important part of the Vigil travelling across Canada for you and I to see and pay our respects.
This memorial has already travelled to Trenton, Kingston, Ottawa, the Canadian Embassy at Washington DC, Quebec City, Valcartier, Montreal, Toronto, Petawawa, Victoria and is at Vancouver until 2 August. It then moves on to Edmonton for 11-16 August, Calgary 25-29th, Regina 30th to 6 Sept., Shilo Manitoba 9-13 Sept., Wpg., 16-20th, Fredericton 30th till 4 Oct., Charlottetown 8-11 October, Halifax 14-18th, St John's Nfld., 23-27 Oct., and then off to Ottawa for display from 5 -12 November.
Further details are available by contacting Captain Plottinville at (613) 945-2221.
Before closing I would again urge all readers to try to see this memorial. It is well worth the visit. And these men and women deserve our utmost respect.
At a time like this I think it important for Canadians to get another shot in the arm, about our own roles in life, and to reflect on the pride that we all share as Canadians in out military and the Canadian way of life. And who better to help us do this than a Yank... Tom Brocaw.
Please visit this site.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV_041oYDjg
And some music to make us all proud.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34n4AJu2mkg
and a few words from journalist Brian Williams at... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc6t6HLt7vA
and from Britain... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pKzAZc3So8
back on Friday...