Soldier On Relay stops at RMCC

Article by: 25961 Officer-Cadet (IV) Ethan Strong

With cadets lining either side of the path, nineteen injured veterans arrived at the Memorial Arch on Monday. It was fitting that the cadets selected to attend this ceremony formed the Class of 2014, who will graduate next week and take leadership positions throughout the Canadian Armed Forces. It was extremely humbling to stand below the Canadian Flag, piper playing, and see these nineteen Canadians who have given so much to this country. Some walked with prosthetic limbs, some sat in wheelchairs; all know too well the sacrifices that the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces are asked to make.

It was also fitting that this ceremony took place before the Memorial Arch, which bears the names of all ex-cadets who have given their lives in service. Just days before the ‘National Day of Honour’ set to mark our contribution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and against the backdrop of those names carved in stone, it could not be more clear to the Class of 2014 that the profession we are joining must not be taken lightly. One day, the lives of men and women like those who stood before us may rest entirely in our hands; what a humbling and inspiring ceremony.

The nineteen veterans suffered physical and psychological injuries during their service in Afghanistan. The visit to the Memorial Arch was one of many stops as the Soldier On relay carried the last Canadian Flag to fly in Afghanistan after 13 years of combat and training missions. The flag was carried from CFB Trenton to Ottawa and presented to, CDS, General Tom Lawson who passed it on to  Prime Minister Stephen Harper who eventually gave it to the Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces, Governor General, David Johnston.Friday.

More photos from the Soldier On Relay Here