To the Class of 2022,
This letter, on the occasion of your graduation and the loss of four of your classmates is riven with both deep sadness and joy. Joy, because you and your families are digesting the fruits of your years at RMC, the friendships you’ve made, the leadership trials that have matured your outlook and the knowledge, both academic and military, that have readied you for command.
Sadness, because a piece of each of you was lost with the tragic deaths of four of your comrades. They are gone and won’t come back except to those of you who cherish memories of them, their comradeship and their mutual respect and affection.
I am now almost 82 years old and have created an exciting life for myself because of CMR and RMC. My beloved brother-in-law graduated with me in 1962. We’re close and regularly celebrate his grandson who recently graduated and my two sons who graduated not so long ago.
In September 2022, I’m joining my classmates to celebrate our 60th year since graduation. I hope my brother who graduated in 1969 joins us.
This part of my message to you is intended to point out the expansive life that awaits you and your colleagues. At each turn in your lives ahead, remember RMC, remember your classmates and, especially, the four that are now in the loving hands of God, at each such turn. They’re watching you and they’re proud of you.
5381 Raymond Vincent Hession
Truth Duty Valour
Class of 1962
Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your classmates. I am 84 years old and have seen the loss of many classmates, who of course were much older than yours but the loss was regretful anyway. The loss of friends is tragic no matter what age but it is even more tragic when they are young.
As graduates you have a great life ahead you, put the training and education you have received at RMC to good use. Your education and training are probably the best you can get anywhere in the world and you must always appreciate that blessing.
At my age, I can say with absolute confidence that my experience at RMC helped me live a great life, even if I wasn’t particularly adept at the culture of RMC. I live in the USA and spent about half my career in the USA, however my experience at RMC was always my most valued asset, and helped towards my success.
Please accept my best wishes in your career, and always remember to think positive no matter what happens.
5509 Howard J Perry
Many of you will have experienced loss in your life prior to the recent tragedy with 4 class mates . You will have stepped forward to console others and your entire class will have bonded as no other .
We graduates of RMC all need to stand tall to face an uncertain world with power alignments among nations shifting mightily .
Greater things are expected of the Class of 2022 so be especially proud on your graduation day and hoist the spirits of the lost 4 in your thoughts and prayers .
Congratulations Class of 2022
5568 Peter Jacob
Mourn the sad, defy the negative, celebrate the positive, and always trust the inner spirit and resilience your graduation has proven. My condolences and my congratulations.
5329 Rob Bird
Class of 62
To the Class of 2022
Attending and graduating from the Royal Military College is a unique experience. Cadets’ many shared experiences during their years of early adulthood generate strong personal bonds, sense of
comradeship, and memories that last a lifetime. The loss of your four classmates will be one of those memories for you, but an incredibly sad one, as you remember many of your experiences helping one another through the rigours of college life and celebrating your accomplishments that required so much mutual support. Their tragic death is an incredible loss for your class, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the communities in which they would have contributed their leadership skills to make Canada a better place. It is, above all, a tragic loss for their families who were looking forward to the graduation of their sons, grandsons, and brothers, and witnessing their careers in the Canadian Armed Forces. I cannot imagine the depth of their grief at this time.
Every time we lose a member from the Class of ’62, memories of our times together at the college flood back to me, and I reflect on the contributions they have made and how much they
will be missed. As I think about the deaths of your four classmates at such an early time in their lives, and about how much they will be missed by those with whom they accomplished so much
over the last 4 years, I am profoundly saddened. Empathy is the kindness you can impart to the families and close friends of your classmates
5482 Jim Furlong