NHL·Coach's Corner

Don Cherry tells Canadians to step up for military

Hockey Night in Canada personality Don Cherry challenged the Canadian public on Saturday night to put their money where their mouth is and send money to support the military.

Hockey Night personality suggests sending money to show support

Members of the Canadian Forces salute as they take part in a pre-game ceremony ahead of the Bruins-Maple Leafs game in Toronto on Saturday night, honouring the two fallen soldiers in this week's attacks on Canadian soil. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Hockey Night in Canada personality Don Cherry challenged the Canadian public on Saturday night.

But on this night, his words had nothing to do with hockey. He was speaking about the country’s support of a couple of fallen soldiers.

On Wednesday, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed at the National War Memorial in Ottawa when a gunman shot him in the back with a shotgun before storming into the Centre Block on Parliament Hill. 

Two days earlier, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed and another soldier was injured when a man deliberately drove a car into them in the parking lot of a federal building near Montreal.

“If you think so much of those guys and I know you do,” an emotional Cherry said during his Coach’s Corner segment, “let’s help the wounded. Help the guys that are trying to get jobs. … Send the money.”

Wearing a black suit, read tie with a white Canadian flag and Remembrance Day poppy, Cherry pleaded with Canadians to offer their support to the Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services (www.cfmws.com) so military families, department of national defence employees, RCMP personnel and others receive the morale and welfare programs, services and activities they deserve.

Don't forget, says Cherry

Cherry said he doesn’t want Canadians to forget about our soldiers like those who fought in Afganistan.

“The war is over, we forget about it now,” Cherry said. “All you people out there [showing your support this week] that’s terrific. If you think anything of it, you’ll do what you should do.”

The emotional Cherry looked on the verge of tears as he spoke about Cirillo, shown in photos with his son Marcus and two rescue dogs.

"What a beautiful guy, that's a rescue dog, that dog would have been put to death if Nathan hadn't got hold of him …people that rescue dogs like that, unbelievable," Cherry said. "Doesn't he look like a guy you'd like to sit and have a pop with?"

He spoke about how Vincent was an organ donor, and "gave up all his organs so that other people can live.

"It's unbelievable that the two guys that were killed was because they were soldiers, it's hard to believe."

Cherry talked about Kevin Vickers, Parliament's sergeant-at-arms who shot and killed Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

"Terrific, what a guy, stepped up to the plate and did the job that had to be done," Cherry said over footage of the long standing ovation Vickers received in the House of Commons the next day.

With files from The Canadian Press

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