Sunday, November 11, 2007

We Will Remember Them

Today is Remembrance Day. It is a day to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and have given their lives in the service of their country. Held on November 11th, it commemorates the ending of the First World War which took place at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Although Remembrance Day traditionally recognizes those who have fought in WWI, WWII and the Korean War, there are many others who have perished in other conflicts, including here in Afghanistan.

Today ceremonies are being held throughout the world to remember those who have fallen. Afghanistan is no exception. This morning at 11:00 am, many Canadians lined up next to the Canadian cenotaph at KAF to pay respect to those who have died in battle. From the outside the cenotaph is of a simple design and is easy to overlook for those who are unaware of its purpose. However, it is the inside of the memorial that causes one to pause and reflect on the nature of the structure. Here you will find numerous marble plaques lined on shelves, each one providing the details of a Canadian soldier who has lost their life in Afghanistan. Each of the faces of the soldiers are etched into the marble and look back at those come to pay their respects. It is the number of plaques lined on the shelves that causes one to pause and reflect.

For today’s ceremony, family members of five Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan were flown in from Canada to participate in the ceremony. They were seated next to the cenotaph throughout the ceremony as the warm mid-morning Afghan sun lit the memorial and the Canadian flag at half-mast in behind. In the course of the ceremony each family laid a wreath in remembrance for their fallen sons and husbands. Many fought to contain their emotions as they visited the land where their loved ones lost their lives. One can only imagine the thoughts that each had as they laid a wreath next to their son’s or husband’s plaque lined up on the shelf.

Since 2002 there have been 71 members of the Canadian Forces and one Canadian diplomat killed in Afghanistan:

Pte Nathan Smith
Sgt Marc D. Leger
Pte Richard Green
Cpl Ainsworth Dyer
Sgt Robert Alan Short
Cpl Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger
Cpl Jamie Brendan Murphy
Pte Braun Scott Woodfield
Diplomat Glyn Berry
MCpl Timothy Wilson
Cpl Paul Davis
Pte Robert Costall
Lt William Turner
Cpl Randy Payne
Bdr Myles Mansell
Cpl Matthew Dinning
Capt Nichola Goddard
Cpl Anthony Boneca
Cpl Jason Patrick Warren
Cpl Francisco Gomez
Cpl Christopher Jonathan Reid
Cpl Bryce Jeffrey Keller
Sgt Vaughn Ingram
Pte Kevin Dallaire
MCpl Raymond Arndt
MCpl Jeffrey Scott Walsh
Cpl Andrew James Eykelenboom
Cpl David Braun
Sgt Shane Stachnik
WO Richard Francis Nolan
WO Frank Robert Mellish
Pte William Jonathan James Cushley
Pte Mark Anthony Graham
Cpl Keith Morley
Cpl Shane Keating
Pte David Byers
Cpl Glen Arnold
Pte Josh Klukie
Cpl Robert Thomas James Mitchell
Sgt Craig Paul Gillam
Tpr Mark Andrew Wilson
Pte Blake Williamson
Sgt Darcy Tedford
Cpl Albert Storm
CWO Robert Girouard
Cpl Kevin Megeney
Cpl Aaron E. Williams
Cpl Christopher P. Stannix
Cpl Brent Poland
Sgt Donald Lucas
Pte Kevin Vincent Kennedy
Pte David Robert Greenslade
MCpl Allan Stewart
Tpr Patrick James Pentland
MCpl Anthony Klumpenhouwer
Cpl Matthew McCully
MCpl Darrell Priede
Tpr Darryl Caswell
Pte Joel Vincent Wiebe
Sgt Christos Karigiannis
Cpl Stephen Frederick Bouzane
Pte Lane Watkins
Capt Jefferson Francis
Capt Matthew Johnathan Dawe
MCpl Colin Bason
Cpl Cole Bartsch
Cpl Jordan Anderson
Pte Simon Longtin
MCpl Christian Duchesne
MWO Mario Mercier
Maj Raymond Ruckpaul
Cpl Nathan Hornburg

1 comment:

D Olson said...

Hi Anthony,
I have just been to your blog for the first time.
It is great to read what you are up to as well as your thought, observations and comments on your and Canada's role in Kandahar and the greater Afghanistan.
Keep writing and stay safe.

David Olson
DFAIT