Southern Neighbours in Sault Ste. Marie

The city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario sits on the riverbank of the St. Marys River. To the south, across the river, is the United States and the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The aptly named International Bridge joins the two.

As the Portraits of Honour National Tour set up in Sault Ste. Marie, one came to consider the ways in which our Canadian Forces are also linked to our neighbours to the South.

In past conflicts, Canadians and Americans have served side-by-side, preserving freedom and protecting the way of life those in North America enjoy. In the support of democracy, we have stood as brothers and sisters many times before, and again in the conflicts in Afghanistan, we stand together in the face of terrorism.

Canadians have had the opportunity to take a leadership role in Afghanistan, demonstrating our world-renowned peacemaking and training abilities and sharing our own methods of conflict resolution with our American brothers and sisters.

Those on the mural, including Sault Ste. Marie natives Sgt. John Faught and Master Cpl. Scott Vernelli, gave their lives in this pursuit. They voluntarily went over seas to help prevent the terrorism that traumatized our neighbours to the south directly, and the rest of the world as a result.

To these heroes and to all those who serve their country in the name of freedom, equality and a life free from terror, we owe a great debt of gratitude.

The Portraits of Honour tour stop in Sault Ste. Marie, and the support of all those who came out to view the mural and attend the ceremony, was just a small way of trying to show it.