Families That Fight For Freedom In Fredericton

The Portraits of Honour National Tour arrived at Fredericton’s Officers Square for an early morning ceremony honouring the 157 fallen heroes depicted on the mural.

The beautiful surroundings of Officers Square, on the banks of the St. John River reminded all of those present just how blessed they are to live in a country as beautiful, clean and safe as our incredible Canada.

 In a museum across the park, sat the seventh Book of Remembrance, available for public viewing. This seventh Book of Remembrance lists members of the Canadian Forces who have died on active duty in the service of Canada (other than those already covered by the Korean War book) since the close of the Second World War book.  Previous books contain the names of all of the fallen Canadian servicemen from previous conflicts as well. Seeing all of these names, and the faces on the Portraits of Honour mural quickly reminds us of the great price that has been paid for the second-to -none quality of life we enjoy in Canada.

Later in the day, the Portraits of Honour travelled to nearby CFB Gagetown for a second unveiling as part of a celebration for troops and their families stationed there. Seeing these military personnel with their young families enjoying the sunny afternoon illustrated a different kind of price paid by all servicemen and women.  While these troops do return home alive, they are away from those they love for long stretches of time in highly stressful and dangerous situations. They suffer the stress of combat, and their families suffer the anxiety of what may happen so far from home. Many return home with physical injuries that changes their lives forever, may more with invisible emotional injuries that haunt them and often destroy family relationships.

We cannot bring back those who have perished, but we can help their comrades, those who have served and now need our assistance, to return to a life that is healthy and happy. They, along with their families, have paid more than their share for the freedoms and opportunities we all take for granted here in Canada, and they should have the opportunity to enjoy them.