It was the most serious incident since the attack on Pearl Harbour and the bringing of the US into WW ll.
The attack initially took the lives of about 3,000 innocent folks with about 6,000 others being injured. Many more over the years to come would become ill and pass away from aftereffects of the attacks. Over one in ten of these victims were not even Americans but came from about 70 different countries around the world.
At least 24 of these came from the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
Soon several countries including Canada joined with the US in the War in Afghanistan. But before even going public with information that Canada had troops on the ground in Afghanistan, tragedy struck our country!
Canada had limited specialist troops on the ground. On 17 April 2002 some of these special troops were on a night training exercise at an old firing range when the US flew over head and saw them. The F16, on hearing firing, thought they were coming under attack. Before getting approval to engage, they dropped a laser guided 500 pound bomb on the troops. 4 Canadians were killed and another 9 injured.
Within seconds of dropping the bomb the Americans learned these were FRIENDLY troops!
Of about 40,000 Canadians answering the call, 159 Soldiers and 7 civilians from Canada lost their lives in this, the largest contingent of Canadian forces deployed since the days of the Korean conflict of 1950-53. Thousands more received injuries. Some ending in death from war service and many from suicides.
The Afghanistan War Memorial above was unveiled in Victoria BC in September of 2017 and contains the names of the above mentioned 159 Soldiers who gave their all. The memorial has been oft mentioned in this space since construction and later unveiling.
Canada's last commanding officer in Afghanistan was Maj. General Dean Milner. He is shown above on the last day our troops were in the country. He is presenting our flag on 12 March 2014 to our Ambassador to Afghanistan. Deborah Lyons.
I now turn to the start of the 2nd part of his blog.
Jumping way back to 1791, this was the year the Constitution Act. It divided the colony of Canada into two parts... Upper Canada, covering basically Ontario and Lower Canada, representing Quebec.
As Lt. Governor, Simcoe decided a defense, if needed, could be better mounted in the area we now know as Toronto. He therefore moved the colony's government and capital there, but named the area York. Such being chosen in honour of HRH King George's son... Prince Frederick, Duke of York.
42 years later the authorities decided there were too many "York"s around and decided that the name should yet again be changed. This time the name selected, thought to be the native term meaning a... meeting place... was chosen.
That word was Toronto!
But a year before this Alek was born in the same place but whilst still called York. A fellow that changed Canadian and the free world's history.
But I will leave that till Sunday October 4th, the month of celebration for women in Canada.
Please join me then.