Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A letter was recently written to the Editor of this woman's local paper. It was a letter regarding the Families of Canadian Soldier's recent Friday Red Rally held October 26. The letter was published-however it was an "editted" version. I am publishing the letter in its entirety here.
Thank you Jane for speaking up on behalf of families of soldiers and supporters present at the rally.

October 29, 2007,

John Roe, Editorial Page Editor
The Record

Dear Sir

A Red Shirt Rally was held last Friday, October 26th at the Waterloo Cenotaph. Although the Record was notified well in advance they chose not to report on it. The anti-war protest on Saturday received a large headline and several paragraphs of coverage in the Monday paper. According to the Record, the protesters oppose the mission but they do support the troops. The Red Shirt Rally was neither supporting nor opposing the mission but was simply to support the troops.
Since the Record chose not to report on this community event, I would like to use this forum to inform the Record readers of the Red Shirt Rally that was organized by the family support group, Families of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan. It is estimated that about 300 people attended through the 12 to 1 time period.
There was a minute of silence, Piper Cpl Ryan Pagnacco played the lament “Flowers of the Forest” and later on Amazing Grace. Dan Gray read his poem,” Red Friday Rally”. Capt Phil Ralph representing the Sapper Mike McTeague’s Wounded Warrior Fund, spoke about the formation of this fund and what the donations are used for. Rick Poland, whose brother was killed this past Easter, came from Sarnia to show his appreciation for all the support he and his family have received in their bereavement.
Again this year, a banner was available for everyone to sign so that they could send personal messages to our troops. We know that the soldiers who are serving abroad very much appreciate knowing that we are thinking of them, and will read every name on that banner when it arrives at the Kandahar Air Field.
Through the sale of hamburgers and hot dogs, over $1000.00 was raised for the Wounded Warrior Fund. Further funds were raised from sales of “Support Our Troops” merchandise that is sanctioned by the Canadian Forces. The sale of red shirts, yellow ribbon pins and other items supports the Military Family Resource Centres which are situated on or near military bases.
Without the participation and donations from local businesses, radio stations and others who helped, this event would not have been the success that we deemed it to be. We thank all those who took time over their lunch hour to pay tribute to our soldiers for the many sacrifices they make to serve our country. Between deployments they spend many weeks and months away from their homes taking courses and in field exercises. They miss the family events that mean so much – family milestones, celebrations, or lending support in sickness or bereavement. When they are deployed to Afghanistan, or anywhere else, they are taken away from all that is familiar and they cope with what is thrust upon them, often in the very worst of circumstances.
Think of them now and Wear Red on Friday.

Jane Annandale
Families of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan

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