Monday, January 11, 2010

red carpet treatment from Sherwood Park

I know it is no Highway of Heroes (I talked to Orgill who came back with Miok from Afghanistan and rode with the family to Toronto and he said the crowds for that were astounding) but seeing dozens and dozens of people line Baseline Road waving yellow ribbons and Canadian flags was amazing. Out of the the various events that occurred over the last week, for friends of 41 CER who were not part of the drive from Edmonton International and down Argyll to Sherwood Park, the experience of seeing ordinary citizens come out with little notice (or none? how did these people find out where and when the funeral procession was going?) packed the most emotional punch. I would have taken some video but I was sitting next to Matthew Martin's wife Jen (she's the one who took the photo of George, left, that is getting the most circulation after his DND supplied photo) and I was not keen on leaning over her just to take a low rez video through a somewhat dirty window with my phone.

After the internment the unit gathered at Debney Armoury and since Giles and I were the only ones there in civvies, it fell to one of us to take a 41 CER group photo and I ended up with the honours, although perhaps I should have passed since I (think I) erred on protocol by addressing Captain Louard familiarly as "Big Lou" before the whole unit and asking him to shuffle over to get into the picture (Roger and his brother went to the same high school that my brother and I - and Colby Cosh - did). Big Lou seemed to take it in stride though. Below is a photo of some of the vehicles 41 CER guys from Calgary used to drive up here:

The following photo, also by Jen Rose Martin from a happier evening, includes many of the pallbearers. From left to right is Mike Mroch, George, Robbie Farhat, Matthew Martin (all 3 longtime friends of George along with the unpictured Greg Gorecki and Brian Hyland), Chad Santo (in the middle), Nathan Goisnard, Martin Bizon, and, in civvies, Dan Hildebrandt.

This last photo was taken by Lisa Sautner as dusk began to fall at the cemetery. At left facing sideways is Sgt Chad Santo, whom I've known all of my adult life and who directed the folding of the flag. Even after allowing for the fact that people typically say great things about the just deceased, according to everything I've heard few deserved their sergeant stripes as much as George Miok.

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