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Reason to Reach Out and Remember

-by John Richmond

On Sunday the 7th of April this year, I had the distinct privilege of attending the ‘Freedom of the City of Moncton’ ceremony during which this historic and significant honour was bestowed upon the VIII th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s). The ceremony, held in concert with the Regiments 165th Birthday celebrations, highlighted the close ties the Hussars have had with Moncton and the Province of New Brunswick since their inception. Honorary Colonel Elisabeth Rybak, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel David Henderson and Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Don Bourque accepted the honour on behalf of the Regiment from their worships Mayor George Leblanc of Moncton and Dorchester Mayor Jerome Bear.

Of equal importance to me was the opportunity to meet with so many members of the Regimental Family, including Cadets and family members; and to offer my gratitude for the service to Canada that they as individuals and as a unit provide. To family members, parents, grandparents, spouses and children it was an opportunity to say thank you for the sacrifices they make while their loved ones are away on training or operational assignments at home and around the globe.

I believe it is important for me as a citizen to acknowledge their service and sacrifice, to say thank you and to show my support for their efforts on ‘my’ behalf; after all these young men and women represent me (and YOU) wherever they go and whatever they do.

Both the daily newspapers of St. John and Moncton justly covered the story on the front page of their Monday editions. As I glanced through the rest of the St. John paper I was struck by the grim reminder of just what the costs for this service can be. There in the last section on the paper, two young proud faces stared out at me as families paid homage to Master Corporal Christopher Stannix and Private David Greenslade who both fell in Afghanistan on April 8th, 2007.

Pte. David Robert Greenslade
Saint John, N.B. 2nd Battalion,
The Royal Canadian Regiment

MC Christopher Paul Stannix,
Reservist Princess Louise Fusiliers,

Connecting with our Military Community is often more difficult in peace than it is in war. In conflict the press keep us informed of the challenges, dangers and disasters that our military personnel face on a daily basis. In peace it falls upon us the citizens to reach out to our military community, to convey our continued support for their efforts on our behalf and to acknowledge the real costs in lives to build this great country.

Join me in celebrating these amazing men and women and their families. Be Proud. Show you care. Get involved with your local Garrison Community Council, or start one and stay connected.