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Month: March 2009


2008: The Year In Review

Year Highlighted By Passing The Torch Ceremony The year marked the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and with one Canadian veteran remaining from that war, there was a special tribute at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. More than 25,000 attendees and four million TV viewers saw 108-year-old First World War veteran Jack Babcock pass the Torch of Remembrance to Second World War veteran George Dunlop with his wish to “Hold it high.” Dunlop passed the torch to Korean War veteran Al Tobio who passed it to United Nations peacekeeping veteran James Robert O’Brien. Sergeant Randy Kierstead of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, representing today’s veterans, was then passed the torch, deposited it in a stand and stood guard until the ceremony ended. A simple act...

Aging Infrastructure, Part 1: The Trouble Underground

The pitter-patter of rain on the rooftop that used to lull Windsor, Ont., homeowner Steve Horoky to sleep now puts him on high alert. Three times since 1996 his basement has flooded with raw sewage following rainstorms. The first flood was blamed on sewer lines that needed cleaning, he says; the second on a breakdown at a pumping station. Number Three was blamed on an unusually heavy rainfall. Since that initial flood, Horoky’s trust in public utilities has been eroded. Events in Walkerton, Ont., where seven people died from drinking contaminated water in 2000, are “an example of how things can get out of control,” he says, noting he buys bottled drinking water. “I don’t want to drink it and find out 12 hours later it should have been boiled.” He’s also concerned about the number...

Afghanistan Air Wing Stands Up

Finally, helicopters with Canadian flags are flying above Kandahar province. For the past few years, Canadians deployed in Afghanistan have relied on allied aircraft—American, British, Dutch, even independent contractors—to move around the dangerous countryside or to fly resupply missions into small and distant outposts. But on Dec. 6, the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing stood up with a parade and ceremony at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan. The official task of the air wing is to provide the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Regional Command South with transportation, surveillance and reconnaissance assets that contribute to mission success in Afghanistan. Currently, the Air Wing comprises four units: the Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan...
Our Veterans

The Double Life Of Sherry Scott

The lady sat down in the lounge chair and then said hello. The pool was deserted, except for a few sun worshippers determined to grab a few rays at the hottest point of the day. She stood out amongst the dozens of business travellers at the West African resort. She was carefully groomed from her stylish, blond hair, to her manicured nails, and her voice matched her appearance perfectly—an articulate British lilt to go along with the slender, middle-aged blond. It seemed likely she would indulge in a 10-minute chat about travel, shopping and family; the safe subjects that can complement the mood of sunshine and poolside conversation. She did not. Sherry Scott was at Accra, Ghana, last July for the 30th Triennial Conference of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL). She was ...

Readers Quiz Answers

Who were Canada’s great military leaders? Our Readers’ Quiz for March/April prepared by Alexander Herd, a graduate student at the University of Calgary, tests your know­ledge of Canada’s military leadership. Questions Who is commemorated by a large monument at Queenston Heights, Ontario? Why did British General Garnet Wolseley use Canadian boatmen to navigate the Nile in relief of besieged British forces at Khartoum, the Sudan in 1884? Upon promotion to lieutenant-general in 1917, Sir Arthur Currie became the first Canadian-born commander of the Canadian Corps in the First World War, replacing Sir Julian Byng, also promoted to higher command. Whom did Byng replace as corps commander in 1916? Prior to establishing its own officer educational system during the Second World War, th...

Eligibility For Memorial Cross Expanded

The familiar Memorial Cross, commonly called the Silver Cross, worn by mothers and widows of sailors, soldiers and airmen killed in service can now be given to more individuals with changes to the regulations announced Jan. 15. The revisions will recognize the families of all Canadian Forces members who have died or die as a result of military service whether it be from combat, an accident or other cause after Oct. 6, 2001, with the grant of up to three Memorial Crosses. Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson announced the changes which they say will reflect the sacrifices made in the campaign against terrorism. “The change ensures the families of our fallen CF members, since the beginning of the current campaign, receive the full expression of s...

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