Repatriation into Canada
Our fallen soldier, Corporal Brendan Anthony Downey, 37, a Military Policeman of 17 Wing Detachment Dundurn, is scheduled to return home to Canada today.
Where: 8 Wing Trenton, Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario.
When: Monday, July 7, 2008
at 2:00 p.m.
Present to pay their respects will be the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and other dignitaries.
Our Fallen Soldier
At approximately 4:15 a.m. (EST) July 4, a Canadian Forces member was found dead in an accommodation room in the Theatre Support Element compound in the Gulf region.Deceased is Corporal Brendan Anthony Downey, a Military Policeman from the Military Police Detachment in Dundurn, Saskatchewan.An investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances of this incident. No further details are available at this time, although enemy action has been ruled out.Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Corporal Downey during this difficult time. Our focus over the next number of days will be to provide the best possible support to the family of our airman and to his colleagues. Cpl Downey's immediate family has no comment at this time and will provide a statement in due course. I can't imagine the grief they are going through at this time. Let's welcome our fallen soldier home along the Highway of Heroes (Hwy 401 from Trenton to Toronto) along the overpasses.
Our Soldier is Home
Onlookers watch as the hearse carrying Cpl. Brendan Anthony Downey drives through CFB Trenton Monday PHOTO Credit: LUKE HENDRY
A dedicated crowd watched the repatriation of Cpl. Brendan Anthony Downey here Monday, July 7th.
Downey was based at Saskatchewan's 17 Wing Detachment Dundurn.
The Canadian Forces CC- 177 Globemaster III air transport carrying his body touched down in Trenton around 3:20 p. m. Monday. Pallbearers carried Downey's flag-covered casket slowly down the plane's long ramp and into a hearse. Family members then approached the vehicle in small groups to pay their respects.
The view from the fence showed little of the ceremony, since several wire fences and a low concrete barricade stretched across the hundreds of metres of asphalt between the fence and plane.
But a crowd of about 50 people, most of them civilians, watched intently nonetheless.
"This is the way these young men have ended their careers -- by serving us well, " said Cathy Quinn, a retired teacher from Ottawa. Her family is vacationing in Bloomfield in nearby Prince Edward County. She brought two 9 year old granddaughters - to watch the repatriation from the base fence along Highway 2. Hayley said the fallen have done "as much as they could" in the line of duty.
With the humidity making the temperature feel well above 30 C, many of the public stood drinking cold bottled water distributed free by the Quinte West Fire Department.
Lindy Muise lives just east of CFB Trenton and said much of the military air traffic, including repatriation flights, passes over his home. Monday was the first time he had attended a repatriation.
He said he felt he should attend because he now has a family connection to the Canadian Forces.
"I've got two grandchildren just going in," he said, describing their recent enlistments.
Muise said his family now watches military news closely.
"Every move they make we pay attention because we've got family in there," he said, calling the repatriation "pretty sad."
"It could be mine," said Muise, adding the fact that while don't brings comfort, the fallen are still "somebody's kids."
Quinte West OPP kept careful watch over traffic, blocking lanes to allow spectators to park and move safely across the highway.
Muise, though, said the public should be allowed onto the base during the services.
"The base is big enough to hold everybody and (have) lots of room left over," he said. "This is dangerous out here."
Monday's crowd was relatively small compared with that at other ceremonies, which have drawn as many as several hundred people.
However, the military -- which typically announces repatriations at least one day in advance -- did not make public the ceremony's date and time until Monday morning, then postponed the start time by just over one hour. Strange.
Bless you Cpl. Downey. You will always be remembered. Thank you for serving for us - our country, our people and those overseas. Our thoughts and prayers are sent to the family and friends both here and overseas.
He travels his journey home.