Local Afghanistan war veterans LeBlanc, Backer join National Day of Honour service at Huntsville Public School
HUNTSVILLE – Two Canadian veterans of the Afghanistan war joined students here at a National Day of Honour ceremony Friday as part of a national day of recognition for Canada’s Afghanistan war veterans and those lost in the fight.
As the entire country paused to remember MP Tony Clement joined them to pay tribute to the men and women who served Canada in Afghanistan during a special ceremony at HuntsvillePublic School.
Sergeant Donny LeBlanc, originally from Huntsville and now posted in Petawawa, and and Master Corporal Kirk Backer took part in the service.
LeBlanc served four tours of duty in Afghanistan and Backer, originally from Sundridge and now posted in Hamilton, served as a Canadian Armed Forces Vehicle Technician and hospital-volunteer in Afghanistan.
In recognition and commemoration of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan, May 9, 2014 has been declared a National Day of Honour by Royal Proclamation. Along with events across the country, a national ceremony took place on Parliament Hill, with a national moment of silence commencing at 1:30 p.m.
”Today is an occasion to pay tribute to the fallen, the sacrifices of the wounded and the special burden borne by military families,” said MP Clement, who thanked both men for their stellar service to country. “It is my honour to spend today with MCpl. Backer and Sgt. LeBlanc, both originally from Parry Sound-Muskoka, who travelled home to share this special day with students from HuntsvillePublic School.”
The students from HuntsvillePublic School had the opportunity to ask questions about the Afghanistan mission and what life is like in the Canadian Armed Forces, and thank the soldiers for their service. The day was also an opportunity for the students to learn about Canada’s overall contribution to Afghanistan, including education, human rights and security. At 1:30 p.m., they joined in the national moment of silence.
”Canada remains committed to helping Afghans create a sustainable future, a more peaceful environment that is safe and secure, a country that is well governed and in control of its own destiny,” said MP Clement. ”While Canada’s military mission has ended, we will continue to play an important role through our Embassy in Kabul in supporting efforts toward a better future for all Afghans.”
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