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Month: May 2010

Praying to Get the Flag Up the Pole

When a Canadian soldier dies in Afghanistan, or any where else they are serving in the world, the Legion branch I belong to lowers their flag to half staff. The usual protocol for a period of mourning is 10 days or the day of the funeral, which ever comes first. On this blog and one fo my other blogs, Out of the Shadows, I post a memorial entry which stays at the top of the blog for the same period. The month of May has been a bit difficult to get that flag back to the top of the pole. In fact, we haven’t succeeded yet. We’ve had four Canadians killed in Afghanistan, which for my American readers is a very small number, spaced out so that 10 days has not passed without a death. As some American friends have noted, if the Americans lowered their flags like we do, they would never fly at full staff. As much as I wait and pray for the day when the flag can be returned to the top of the pole, it flying at half staff reminds me that Canadians are putting their life on the line for me every single day. Each of those ten days of flag flying at half staff means that I’ll be making a trip to the bridge to honour our fallen Canadian. As the motorcade...

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We Will Remember Him

They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn At the going down of the sun, and in the morning We will remember them In memory of our fallen Canadian: Tpr Larry Rudd — Afghanistan May 24, 2010 Always Caring — Always Canadian — Never Defeated Support Our Troops — Wear Red on...

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We Will Remember Him

They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn At the going down of the sun, and in the morning We will remember them In memory of our fallen Canadian: Col Geoff Parker — Afghanistan May 18, 2010 Always Caring — Always Canadian — Never Defeated Support Our Troops — Wear Red on...

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We Will Remember Him

They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn At the going down of the sun, and in the morning We will remember them In memory of our fallen Canadian: Pvt Kevin Thomas McKay — Afghanistan May 13, 2010 Always Caring — Always Canadian — Never Defeated Support Our Troops — Wear Red on...

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Canada’s Navy Turns 100; I Remember My Grandfather

On Tuesday of this week what used to be called the Royal Canadian Navy, now known as Maritime Command, turned 100 years old. I take note of this milestone for two reasons. The first reason I took note on Tuesday was I rose to the news that the first sailor to die in Afghanistan had fallen on Monday afternoon, the victim of a roadside bomb. He was returning from diffusing another bomb at the time. As I write this, I’ve just returned from having been on a bridge on the Highway of Heroes as the motorcade carrying his body, the military & police escort and his grieving family travelled to Toronto. He is the 143rd Canadian to make that solemn journey as Canadians fill the bridges to honour and show our respect to him and their families. The second reason I took note of the naval milestone is my late grandfather, Cyril Instance, served in the RCN during both world wars Grandpa came from a sailing background, his own father, my great-grandfather was serving as a fireman on the Titanic on its fateful voyage in 1914. Grandpa was active duty in WW1, wounded in battle, which one I’ve forgotten the name of. During WW2 he served in Halifax, attaining the rank of CRPO, Chief Regulating Petty Officer, he was in charge of training and discipline. Somehow that rank suited...

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