Tuesday, November 20, 2007

They Are Home

The mournful strains of Amazing Grace mingled with traffic noise at a sombre repatriation ceremony Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 to honour the latest victims of Canada’s military effort to bring order to Afghanistan. With dignitaries and family on hand, the flag-draped coffins of Quebec-based Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamp, 28, and Pte. Michel Levesque, 25, were lowered from a military transport to waiting hearses.

"He will never cease to live among us and in our hearts," Levesque’s family said. "He will always be a hero to us."

Above: Military pallbearers carry the caskets of Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamps and Pte. Michel Levesque Jr. who were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, during a repatriation ceremony at Canadian Forces base Trenton, Ontario, Tuesday November 20, 2007. Photo credit: Fred Chartrand

Beauchamp’s spouse, Cpl. Dolores Crampton, a medical technician based with the same unit, accompanied his body back to Canada. Crampton laid flowers on his coffin before returning to stand with Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier on the windswept runway. Also on hand was Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean and about 100 members of the public, who pressed against the fence that circles the base to watch the ceremony.
ABOVE: Chief of National Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hiller stands
with Cpl. Dolores Crampton, wife of Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamp.
Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand
"Nicolas was strong, generous, proud and convinced that he could make a difference in this world," the Beauchamp family said.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Industry Minister Jim Prentice bow their heads along with other Members of Parliament for a moment of silence in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday (Photo Credit: Tom Hanson)

Supporters were seen along overpasses of the Highway of Heroes, a section of the TransCanada Highway renamed in honour of Canada's fallen soldiers, as the hearses made their way to Toronto .

Veterans from the Trenton, Ontario area drape flags from an overpass as the motorcade carrying the caskets of Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamps and Pte. Michel Levesque Jr. drives by on the Highway of Heroes. (Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand)

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