Life beyond the battlefield
Carbonear Collegiate students hear wartime accounts during poignant remembrance ceremony
An emotional slideshow, beautiful musical performances and stories from two veterans of armed conflict highlighted the Carbonear Collegiate remembrance ceremonies on the morning of Nov. 7.
Parents, students, teachers, local cadets and special guests filled the gymnasium to hear the tales of Afghanistan veteran Warrant Officer Sheldon Herritt and Sgt. Hal Evely, a retiree from the United States Army who served in Vietnam.
Both men experienced great losses during their frontline duties, and relayed the message in their addresses to the crowd.
Herritt was born in Rose Blanche, a small community on the southwest coast of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador, with a population of less than 1,000.
While attending Memorial University, Herritt joined the military reserves to help pay for his school. It was during that time he gained a passion for the armed forces, and decided to volunteer for a deployment to Afghanistan.
Trained in combat, artillery and survival techniques, among others, Herritt left Canada in February 2007 for his tour of duty as a combat engineer.
One of his important jobs included being responsible for explosives, something that almost killed him.
On March 20, Herritt was hit with some 50 pieces of shrapnel, piercing all over his body, then refused to be transferred home. Herritt recovered after four weeks and headed back to the battlefield.
He concluded his address after a slideshow of photos and videos that gave a look at what was experienced on the battlefield, including photos of comrades carrying a casket draped in a Canadian flag.
“For us veterans, every day is Remembrance Day,” Herritt told the attentive crowd, noting his fallen friends will always be remembered for their ultimate sacrifice.
Warrant Officer Sheldon Herritt is a veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan. He is formerly from Rose Blanche, but currently calls St. John’s home.
Alyssa Broomfield sings a touching and sad rendition of “The Cruel War” by Peter. Paul and Mary. During her solo, a slideshow created by fellow student Erin Jones depicting wartime was displayed on a large screen.
Special guests Linda Murphy from Freshwater, Carbonear (right) and Linda Butt, who is living in Heart’s Delight, are two mothers whose sons, Davis Murphy and Shawn Butt, are currently serving on the HMCS Toronto in the Middle East.