Local sailor selected to represent the Navy at Ottawa Remembrance Day

Local sailor selected to represent  the Navy at Ottawa Remembrance Day

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

It is a prestigious but demanding job standing sentry at the corner of a war memorial. Only a select few Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members secure the honour.

This Remembrance Day, local sailor LS Kyle Ruttan will stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa with other CAF members representing the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, and one Royal Canadian Mounted Police member.

“It’s a big honour,” says LS Ruttan. “I’m not a hard navy trade; I’m a support trade, so being selected was a complete surprise.”

A sentry is required to stand solemnly, with head bowed and white-gloved hands on the butt of a ceremonial rifle, throughout a ceremony that stirs strong emotions among most people. Concentrating at the task at hand, and not becoming openly touched by the event, will be a challenge admits LS Ruttan.

“Straight-faced with no emotion, that will be the hardest part because it is an event that always tears me up, especially when they play ‘The Last Post’,” he says.

Remembrance Day will also evoke memories of his mother who died last April. The two would often watch the ceremony at the National War Memorial while he was growing up.

“I’ll be part of the event this year, and she won’t be there to see it,” he says. “I know she would be so proud of me though.”

His father Micheal Ruttan who lives in Verona, Ontario, will make the journey to see his son at the highly visible national event.

As he stands vigil his thoughts will also stray to his great grandfather Clifford McInnis who served aboard HMCS Strathadam for four years ­during the Second World War. He will also remember fallen ­co‑­worker LS Brandon South, who died in Tanzania in April 2014 while the two were deployed on HMCS Regina for Operation Artemis and Operation Reassurance.

The face of another fallen member will also be on his mind – that of Cpl Nathan Cirrilo who was killed by a gunman as he stood guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Oct. 22, 2014.

“His memory will certainly be etched in my mind,” says LS Ruttan.

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