Pride and Honour in Calgary

Pride and Honour, according to General Rick Hillier, are two of the key ideals of a member of the Canadian Forces, and for the Portraits of Honour tour team, two words that defined the tour stop in Calgary. 

It began with one of our own being honoured when Mayor Naheed Nenshi presented artist Dave Sopha with the city’s prestigious White Hat, a symbol of appreciation for his contribution to Canada. Calgary honoured Dave with this symbol of excellence, and it is certain Dave is proud of what the Portraits of Honour continue to bring to Canadians all across this great land.  

Later in the day, it was discovered that honour would be brought to two other inspiring Canadians when it was announced that Calgary journalist Michelle Lang and diplomat Glyn Barry would also be added to the Portraits of Honour mural at the completion of the tour. Both civilians killed in the Afghanistan conflict, each had a key role to play in trying to bring about peace and illustrate the plight of the Afghan people.

The immense pride that Calgary has for Ms. Lang, a journalist with the Calgary Herald, is a direct result of her bravery and commitment to showcasing the truth. 

As the first Canadian diplomat ever to be killed in a conflict, Glyn Barry’s role in trying to bring about peace outside of battle is one that all Canadians have a responsibility to honour and appreciate as well. Canada is so proud of the good works these two brave individuals have accomplished, and it is only fitting that they be honoured in this way.

The following day, at a gala held at Gasoline Alley in Calgary’s Heritage Park, General Hillier addressed the large crowd and spoke of the pride felt by those who serve in the Canadian Forces. He spoke of individual fallen heroes from the first and second world wars, telling stories of their personalities and antics, and how they would be proud of certain individual men and women who have fallen in this latest conflict who possessed similar traits.

He told anecdotes of many more he had known personally, and stories he had heard passed on from comrades of the fallen. Hearing the stories of who these heroes had been in life, one couldn’t help but feel even more saddened by the loss of them, but at the same time even greater pride in their contribution.

Just as anyone who does good work in support of our country or in pursuit of betterment in the world deserves to be honoured, we continue to honour the fallen heroes of the Afghanistan conflict, and through the Portraits of Honour National Tour, provide Canadians with a place to gather to show their immense pride.

Pride and Honour, characteristics of the Canadian Forces, and of all Canadians who support them.