Governor General presents new sacrifice medals for wounds, deaths

A clearly emotional Governor General Michaelle Jean presided Monday over the first presentations of the new Sacrifice Medal.

OTTAWA — A clearly emotional Governor General Michaelle Jean presided Monday over the first presentations of the new Sacrifice Medal.

Of the first 46 medals, 21 are posthumous awards.

The medal is awarded to members of the Canadian Forces, or civilians working with the Forces, who are killed or wounded by hostile action or to any member of the military who dies because of a service-related accident or disease.

The Governor General told the soldiers and families assembled at Rideau Hall for the ceremony that Canadians share their pain and grief.

“You are not alone,” she said.

She said she met many family members during sombre repatriation ceremonies at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ont., where the bodies of soldiers killed in Afghanistan return home.

“Many of you have shared your pain with me,” she said.

Jean, who is titular commander-in-chief of the Forces, paid tribute to those who have fought and are fighting still in Afghanistan.

“I must bow my head before you, to pay tribute to you and to express my respect and gratitude.”

She said their sacrifices have become part of the country’s collective history.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on hand for the ceremony and offered his thanks.

“Time and again, Canadians have proven themselves to be among the bravest, most skilled and most successful soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen on earth,” he said.

“I want to thank each and every one of today’s recipients, as well as their families and loved ones, for nobly upholding Canada’s proud tradition of courage and sacrifice in the face of any odds.”

The round, sterling silver medal, which hangs from a black, red and white ribbon, bears the image of the Queen on the front. The back features the word Sacrifice and an image of the Canada statue that is part of the Vimy Memorial in France.

Sgt. Lance Hooper who has been twice wounded in Afghanistan, received the medal and a bar, signifying a second award.

One of the new medals went to the family of Glyn Berry, a diplomat killed in a car bombing near Kandahar in 2006.

Another was accepted by Ben Walsh on behalf of his son, Master Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh, who died in an accidental shooting in Afghanistan.

The medal was originally to be awarded only to those killed or wounded by hostile action, but Ben Walsh persuaded authorities to change the rules to make anyone killed in military service eligible.

Among the non-Afghanistan dead cited Monday are Capt. Juli-Ann Mackenzie, killed in a 2002 helicopter crash, and Pte. Arielle Keyes-Oliver, killed in a training accident at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont., a year ago.

The medal is only awarded for deaths or injuries after Oct. 7, 2001.

During the Second World War, soldiers were entitled to wear wound stripes, small pieces of gold braid awarded for each combat injury. The stripes were resurrected again in 1990 and have been awarded to a number of soldiers wounded in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

The new medal replaces the stripes.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heather Buelow, owner of Aerial Edge Studio in Blackfalds, says she has spent all of her savings to keep the studio going through government-mandated shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Either open in-person or close permanently: Central Alberta yoga studio defying rules

A central Alberta woman is allowing clients back into her traditional and… Continue reading

(MaxPixel)
Sandra Schmirler Foundation donates $10,000 to Red Deer hospital

Donation will go towards electronic fetal heart monitoring project

A sustainability audit for Westerner Park suggested 33 changes, including more city involvement. (Advocate file photo)
Westerner Park expands volunteer program

As Westerner Park refocuses the organization, they are reigniting their emphasis on… Continue reading

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on December 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle
New regulator to stop sexual exploitation of children online: public safety minister

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government will introduce… Continue reading

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Sasha/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

OTTAWA — A new report shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he will vote against a… Continue reading

Eugene Kwon of Gratia Bakery and Cafe says the business will be relying on take out orders and a small patio. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

OTTAWA — A group representing thousands of the country’s small businesses says… Continue reading

Ron Howard is photographed at the "Inferno" film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Brothers Ron and Clint Howard have memoir coming in October

NEW YORK — Filmmaker-actor Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, brothers, former… Continue reading

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres’ Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Boston Bruins acquire Taylor Hall to kick off NHL trade deadline day

Trade deadline day in the NHL has started with the Boston Bruins… Continue reading

Most Read