Canadian Heroes in Charlottetown

Canada has been part of many conflicts, always in the pursuit of improving our world and protecting the innocent, and in these efforts, we have certainly lost many of our best and brightest young men in battle.

From those who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy, to those who faced atrocities in Bosnia, we have paid a high price in our effort to bring the way of life we cherish to others around the world.  We grieve for these losses, and yet they have become an indelible part of our history, the loss of brave young men, their courage held up as a badge of honour.

However, in May of 2006, Canada experienced a loss that it had never faced, a loss that many were unprepared for, when Captain Nichola Goddard became the first female Canadian soldier to die in active combat.  The loss of a young woman, a wife, and likely someday a mother, was a new kind of loss for Canadians and one that many still find especially difficult to face.

In Charlottetown, the parents of this brave young hero visited the Portraits of Honour, and spoke to the crowd.  They focused not on the fact that Nichola had been the first woman killed, as many would have expected, but instead on the ideals, morals and values that inspired her to serve in Afghanistan.

Listening to their words one began to realize that while the loss of Canadian women in combat is painful, these young heroes have made life far better for thousands of women and girls in Afghanistan.  The courage and determination of those who perished lives on in the women of Afghanistan as they pursue the new opportunitiesthey helped to create.