May 28, 2007
Our fallen soldier, Corporal Matthew McCully, a member of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signal Squadron (2 CMBG HQ & Sig Sqn), based in Petawawa, Ontario, is scheduled to return home to Canada today.
Where: 8 Wing Trenton, Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario.
When: Monday, May 28, 7:30 p.m.
Present to pay their respects will be The Minister of National Defence, Gordon O'Connor, and other dignitaries.
Canadian Soldier, Cpl. Matthew McCully was returned to Canadian soil to his family today at CFB Trenton during a repatriation ceremony.
A CC-130 Hercules aircraft carrying his remains touched down at the base just before 7:30 p.m.
The final note of the piper's skirl hung heavily in the still night air as eight Canadian soldiers carried the flag-draped casket of Cpl. Matthew McCully across the tarmac at this eastern Ontario military base.
Governor General Michaelle Jean, Cief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier and Defence minister Gordon O’Connor joined military officials and grieving relatives on the tarmac as McCully’s casket was carried from the aircraft by fellow soldiers. Just metres away, McCully’s mother, Valerie McGrady, locked arms with her daughter, Shannon, and her partner, Neil Weise. McCully’s younger brother, Daniel, stood beside them—solemnly staring into the open hearse. McCully’s father, Ron, wearing a white cowboy hat and dark sunglasses, clutched red and white roses. His wife, Michelle, hugged his left arm as his son’s casket was lowered into the hearse for the last leg of its journey home. McGrady knelt on the ground after placing a single red rose on her son’s coffin before military officials guided the family into three waiting black limousines. The limousines drove slowly from the tarmac—passing one large and half-a-dozen small Canadian flags placed on the base’s barbed-wire fence by Bob and Demetra Belear of Belleville, Ont.
Bob Belear said he and his wife have been to almost every repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton, and he said they always hang the flags on the fence out of respect for the soldiers. “The flag is our country’s flag, and these men and women are serving our country,” he said. “When you see civilians on this side of the fence, it shows respect for the sacrifice they made.”