August 23: Families First in Yorkton

Throughout the many stops that the Portraits of Honour National Tour has made across this great nation, it is clear that this memorial deeply impacts those who see it, but none more so than the families of the fallen depicted on the mural.

Examples of how much this moving tribute means to those who have lost a loved one were apparent to all who gathered in Yorkton.

At each of the tour stops in Yorkton, members of local fallen hero Sgt. Prescott Shipway's family came to stare into the eyes of one they had loved so much in life and missed so much in death.

At an afternoon ceremony under sunny skies, his wife and children spent time looking at the mural with artist Dave Sopha, and laid a wreath below his portrait. There were few dry eyes to be found as his children blew him a kiss and cluthced their mother's had. She spoke briefly about how much it means to the families that are left behind that their loved ones are shown proper honour and respect for their sacrifice. She said that although it has been incredibly hard to go forward, knowing that her family has so much love and support from fellow Canadians has been a real comfort. 

At a cocktail reception and mural unveiling later in the day at Yorkton’s Gallagher Center, Sgt. Shipway's Father remarked that the day his son died serving in Afghanistan was the worst day of his life. He went on to remark however, that on this evening, his birthday, seeing his son honoured in this way was the best gift he could have received. 

At the conclusion of the evening, the Yorkton Kin club presented the Portraits of Honour tour with a generous donation to help in our goal of raising 1.5 million dollars to support programs benefiting military families and wounded soldiers, sailors and aircrew. 

Both in its ability to help generate funds, and in its role as a moving memorial, the Portraits of Honour National Tour is giving back to the courageous military families that have given so much.