On our way home from a lovely afternoon at the beach we were traveling westbound down the 401. It was about 2:20 pm and I hear my son pose question #1, 203 of the day. Mom, what are those people doing on top of the bridge? Why do they have flags?
I almost couldn't answer him. An innocent question with a loaded answer. Loaded even for a 40 year-old let alone a curious 5 year-old. What do I say? Um choked up. I didn't realize that there would be a repatriation ceremony today given the G20 was interrupting life as we know it. I swallowed the frog in my throat and tried to sqeak out an answer.
What could I say but the truth. I started with the definition of repatriation. Then I told him that there are men and women all around the world who's chosen profession is the military. That as soldiers they fight for our freedoms. They fight for everyone's freedoms. That sometimes they die. I then told him that the people on the bridges were there to show respect for what today's soldier did for us. To thank him for his sacrifice. To show the world that we are Canadians and yes, we support our troops no matter what.
Then the car was quiet. The air thick with questions without words to carry them.
The soldier being honoured today was: Sgt. James MacNeil, 28, of Glace Bay, N.S., was killed June 21 while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. (Department of National Defence)
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