Legion memorial to honour ‘forgotten’ soldiers


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion will honour military members who lost their lives on Canadian soil with a memorial service next weekend in Cobble Hill.

The ceremony is organized by the Malahat District Branch #134 of The Royal Canadian Legion and commences at the Cobble Hill Cenotaph at 11 a.m. on Oct. 19.

This is the third annual memorial service. This year’s organizer, Master Corporal (Retired) Harold Davis says the ceremony is an important opportunity to commemorate and celebrate the lives of countless Canadian Armed Forces members who died in the years following their service.

“We often commemorate Canadian soldiers who die in foreign theatres of war, but quite seldom nothing is said about those who lost their lives on Canadian soil,” says Davis. “The ceremony is really to say to these men and women and their loved ones that we remember you guys too, and want people to be aware that military personnel put their lives at risk every day while serving our country in Canada.”

The ceremony, says Davis, is also meant to honour people who are all too often invisible casualties of war; veterans who have succumbed to both mental and physical injuries following their years of service.

The main focus is a moment of silence to remember the dead followed by a wreath laying.

The Canadian flag at the cenotaph will be lowered to half-mast ahead of the ceremony.

Davis, a former air weapons technician, is the founder and President of the Persian Gulf Veterans of Canada. He recently retired after a 42-year career with Shared Services Canada that included 32 years of military service.

During the proceedings, Davis will be thinking about people he knew and worked with. Those include two aviators Bob Henderson and Wally Sweetman who lost their lives during a Sea King ferry flight to Shearwater in 1994 and a diver who died during training, also in Shearwater.

“We want to remember these people and celebrate their sacrifices,” said Davis.

Attendees are invited to attend a post-memorial get-together at the Branch No. 134 headquarters located at 134 Shawnigan Lake Rd.

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