July 20: Community Spirit in Cranbrook

The small community of Cranbrook came together at their local airshow to enjoy daring feats of the sky and also to pay homage to the 157 brave young men and women who have perished in Afghanistan depicted on the Portraits of Honour mural.

Almost everyone in attendance at the airshow visited the Portraits of Honour mural, many shaking the hand of artist Dave Sopha and thanking him for what he had done to honour these heroes.

Parents knelt down near the mural, quietly explaining to curious children that these men and women were brave Canadians who had fought to protect the innocent.

Young people spoke of friends and schoolmates depicted on the mural and memories of happier times.

Older folks remarked on how young all of those that had fallen were and how sad it is to lose so much promise and youth.

For a small community, so many people came to show their respects and share their perspectives. From the outset the tour had aimed to give Canadians across the country, in communities of all sizes, the opportunity to publicly show their gratitude and Cranbrook showed we are doing just that.