Garrison Petawawa holds Afghanistan commemoration parade
Many soldiers from brigade were in Alberta for training during the National Day of Honour in Ottawa
Garrison Petawawa hosted a solemn commemoration parade on Saturday after many soldiers from the brigade missed the National Day of Honour while training in Alberta.
A national ceremony was held on Parliament Hill on May 9 as a one-time event to honour the 40,000 who fought and the 158 who fell during Canada's mission in Afghanistan.
On Saturday, 3,150 brigade members filled a square at CFB Petawawa to honour the men and woman who died in Afghanistan.
The families of military members were also invited.
Donna Beek said the commemoration brought her closure, after losing her son Trooper Corey Hayes to an improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan in 2009. Hearing Amazing Grace brought tears to her eyes.
"They played that at my son's funeral and on the tarmac. So every time I hear that it comes back," she said. "Today is closure. Time to move on."
Col. Peter Dawe, the commander 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) based at Garrison Petawawa, said a second commemoration will be held on June 28 for a Petawawa-based military leader who died during training in Wainwright, Alta., in May.
Lt.-Col. Dan Bobbitt was killed when an armoured carrier overturned during a training exercise.
"We're still grieving that. We haven't really had a chance to close the book on that, frankly," he said.
Bobbit was the commanding officer of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (2 RCHA).