For­ever grate­ful to our pro­tec­tors

Ottawa Citizen - - EDITORIAL -

In No­vem­ber, we dis­play our tremen­dous grat­i­tude for those who have, and con­tinue to, pro­tect us. This year we also com­mem­o­rate 100 years of the sign­ing of the Ar­mistice and the coura­geous peo­ple who fought in the First World War. De­fend­ing a coun­try brings out many heroes; some have been writ­ten in his­tory, oth­ers have qui­etly con­tin­ued to pro­tect our coun­try.

My fa­ther, a re­tired DND pi­lot who rarely de­scribed his du­ties, made many sac­ri­fices dur­ing his ca­reer. As a pi­lot dur­ing the Cold War, he and his team­mates en­dured gru­elling sur­vival train­ing. On many oc­ca­sions, heavy-hearted good­byes were said to fam­ily mem­bers be­fore leav­ing for days to ful­fil “alert” du­ties. This im­me­di­ate-readi­ness rou­tine meant be­ing air­borne within min­utes to chase and in­ter­cept in­trud­ing air­craft. Fly­ing in the dead of night over the At­lantic Ocean was un­set­tling for the CF101 pi­lots, know­ing that in an emer­gency, their float­ing vest would be­come a tool to lo­cate them in­stead of res­cu­ing them.

To the brave Cana­dian sol­diers and their fam­i­lies, to my fa­ther and the pi­lots who shared the same roles, I will be for­ever thank­ful and on Nov. 11, I will raise a glass in your hon­our.

Marie-Josée LeBlanc, Ot­tawa

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