June 17: In Bradford Where There's a Will There's a Way

Arriving in Bradford to set up the Portraits of Honour trailer, it was hard to believe that the local organizing committee had put the event together in only a few short weeks. A bright red fire department ladder truck hoisted the the Canadian Flag high outside the Bradford West Gwillimbury Library, as scores of Canadian Forces personnel and local dignitaries took their places for a formal outdoor ceremony. A hundred or so local residents, including the parents of Spr. Brian Collier and Pte. Kevin McKay, looked on as speakers shared their thoughts on the portraits and their respect for the young men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

After the formal ceremony, all in attendance were welcomed on stage to see the portraits up close. Many shared tears and stories of the fallen heroes. One young boy of no more than 8 was overheard saying, " My brother knew Sgt. Collier and he went to his funeral, I wanted to go to because he is a hero."  From the level of community participation to comments like these, it was a truly successful event. 

Speaking to the organizers afterward, the tour supervisor asked how they had done so much in such a short time. Organizers responded that because they believe in the project so much, there was simply no choice but to give it the treatment and attention it deserves. One organizer said he had thought of the troops in Afghanistan who truly believe in making a difference and are doing it despite all odds.  "Where there is a will there is a way" he said, "and if they can do all they are doing for us, this is the least we can do for them."