Photo by Iain McLauchlan, via Bomber Command Museum
Here in the United Kingdom, it has been raining for months now, after a long, dry winter. It is almost as if tears are falling in remembrance.
And then, there is one glorious day of brilliant and warm sunshine in London, on the 28th of June. It is likely the only summer we will have. But it’s perfect timing. Which is a good thing, because the establishment of an international memorial to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of the people involved in the bombing campaign of the Second World War is long overdue.
Organized by the Department of Veterans Affairs and supported by the Department of National Defence and the High Commission of Canada, London, 42 veterans, along with caregivers and supporters were brought from Canada to the United Kingdom on a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-150 Polaris for a few short days.
The objective was to provide an opportunity for some surviving veterans to represent our country at this important occasion. It was also about the efforts of the Canadians who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force (RAF) in Bomber Command operations over occupied Europe, which was one of our country’s most significant contributions during the Second World War. The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Chief of the Air Staff LGen André Deschamps, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, were honoured to join the Veterans and pay tribute to their service, as well as honour and remember the sacrifices and achievements of all those who served in Bomber Command.
In summary, “a major public Memorial to commemorate the tragic loss of 55,573 young Bomber Command airmen in the Second World War was unveiled at a ceremony in Green Park, London, at 12 noon on 28 June 2012. The event brought together thousands of Bomber Command veterans, widows and family members from all over the world, to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of their lost relatives and comrades. The Memorial also commemorates the people of all nations who lost their lives in the bombing campaigns of 1939-1945, with an inscription remembering that loss. During the 30-minute ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen unveiled a nine foot high bronze sculpture depicting seven Bomber Command aircrew.
There was also some important and appropriate Canadian content in the form of aluminium which was incorporated in the Memorial’s roof. It was provided by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada based in Nanton, Alberta. Their President Rob Pedersen, Director Karl Kjarsgaard, and eleven other persons represented the museum at the dedication. “So what’s so special about that?”, you might ask.
“Halifax Bomber LW682 was part of 426 “Thunderbird” Squadron RCAF and it was shot down in 1944, crashing into a swamp in Belgium. The seven Canadians and one Briton aboard were killed. The bodies of three of the Canadian airmen, missing in action and entombed in the Halifax bomber, were recovered in 1997 and given a full military funeral in Geraardsbergen, Belgium. The recovered parts of the Halifax were all saved and brought to Canada with some of them used in the restoration of the Halifax currently on display in Trenton, Ontario, and the unusable aluminium saved due to the rarity and heritage of this RCAF metal. It was then melted down into ingots to be used for future Air Force Memorials, plaques, and statues by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada. The aluminium is being provided by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada to draw attention to the fact that almost 10,000 of the 55,573 airmen lost with Bomber Command during World War II were Canadians.
The ceremony ended with a flypast by five RAF GR4 Tornado bomber aircraft crewed by today’s Royal Air Force. This was followed by a flypast by the RAF’s last flying Lancaster Bomber, which dropped poppies over Green Park as a message of remembrance for the 55,573 Bomber aircrew lost.” (text from the Bomber Command Memorial Appeal http://www.bombercommand.com/)
Aircraft hunter and key player of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Karl Kjarsgaard, poses alongside aluminium ingots made from the wreckage of a former Royal Canadian Air Force Halifax bomber. The Halifax components and wreckage were collected from a bog in Belgium by a Museum team and local aviation archeologists. The remains of three Canadian airmen were found inside, still in their positions and these remains were buried with full military honours in Geraardsbergen and the remains of the aircraft were sent to Canada. The twisted and broken aluminium was collected and melted down into ingots. The goal was to donate them to a memorial at some day in the future. It wasn't long before the perfect memorial was found–the Bomber Command Memorial in London. Photo via Karl Kjarsgaard
Karl beams with pride as the ingots of aluminium are loaded on a pallet in the cargo hold of a Canadian C-17 Globemaster III bound for rolling and milling in England, eventually to be made into the roof covering of the RAF's Bomber Command Memorial
. Photo: Doug Bowmanl
, Bomber Command Museum of Canada
The aluminium from 426 Squadron, RCAF Halifax LW682, recovered from a Belgian swamp and now blended with the DNA of 7 Canadians and one Brit, was used to create the roof of the Bomber Command Memorial. A remarkably creative and deeply moving idea, worthy of the more than 10,000 Canadians who died while on Bomber Command operations during the Second World War. Photo via Bomber Command Museum
The ceremony ended with a flypast by five RAF GR4 Tornado bombers, followed by the Royal Air Forces’ Lancaster Bomber, which dropped over 800,000 poppies in a symbolic act of remembrance for the 55,573 Bomber aircrew lost. Photo by Craig Semplis, (ICU Craig65 on Flickr)
As the ceremony for the unveiling of the new Bomber Command Memorial winds down, the RAF makes a spectacularly creative flypast of the Battle of Britain Flight's Avro Lancaster. The Lancaster, along with the Handley Page Halifax, represented the backbone of the RAF's heavy night bomber force. There are only two “Lancs” flying today, while there are no Halifaxes at all. Photo: RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
The big bomb bay doors of the Battle of Britain Flight Avro Lancaster open to release a dramatic blood red stream of 800,000 paper poppies to commemorate in a powerful, moving manner, the 55 thousand Commonwealth airmen who lost their lives in training and on operations with the RAF's Bomber Command during the Second World War. Photo by Craig Semplis, (ICU Craig65 on Flickr)
The stream of poppies over the Bomber Command Memorial unveiling ceremony as seen from the tail gunner's position on the Lancaster. Photo: RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
The sobering image of nearly a million poppies fluttering down over London on a peaceful day, 70 years after the end of the Second World War, gives one pause to contemplate the sacrifice of each of these souls. Vintage Wings of Canada commends the RAF on this excellent and creative gesture. Photo by Diane Potter (DianaDianeDianne on Flickr)
Bomber Command Museum of Canada members are fond and proud to tell their fellow RAF veterans in attendance, “We've got you covered!”, as the aluminium from the RCAF Halifax is now incorporated into the roof covering of the Memorial.
I must say that our veterans did the country proud and were our best ambassadors. They started their program with a visit to the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, then on to the Bomber Command Memorial dedication, a reception-lunch at Canada House on Trafalgar Square and then back for a private tour of the Memorial, before flying back to Canada. I must say that while the staff were somewhat worn down by the pace of action, the veterans were an inspiration and certainly proved that they were made of tougher material.
Canadian veterans, dignitaries and family members assemble for a private and simple ceremony at the Air Forces Memorial. The Air Forces Memorial, or Runnymede Memorial, in Englefield Green, near Egham, Surrey, England is a memorial dedicated to some 20,456 men and women from the British Empire who were lost in operations from the Second World War. All of those recorded have no known grave anywhere in the world, and many were lost without trace. The name of each of these airmen and airwomen is engraved into the stone walls of the Memorial, according to country and squadron
. Photo: David Carpenter
Not all the Canadians who participated in the events that ran up to the Memorial's unveiling were part of the group that travelled via RCAF Airbus. Some, like Arthur and Barbara Barrett from Newfoundland, were drawn to the importance of the event and joined the group. Photo: David Carpenter
While they are all heroes to us – past and present, here are just a few sample snippets of what these men faced, based on their Veterans Affairs biographies and my conversations with some of them:
In his own words, Mr. Frank Boyd
“arrived at RAF Squadron 101 Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire on September 1944. This was a Special Duties Squadron in that it had classified radio equipment on board and was operated by a “special duties operator”. He was not a member of our crew. He was able to understand German (many were of German extraction) and his duty was to listen out for German Fighter Control directing German fighters and then jam their transmission. Because of this equipment called “Air Borne Cigar” (ABC), the Squadron drew mostly deep penetration raids into Germany. My crew and I attempted 36 operations and completed 32. We had some near misses and had the daylights scared out of us many times. My last Op was to Pfortzeim, Germany where we were attacked unseen by a Ju 88 with upward firing gun while we were on our bombing run, burning badly. With the starboard outer burning like a torch we continued on the bomb run, bombed and, coming out of the target, were attacked again. This time the fighter hit the starboard fuel tank and it started to burn. The pilot immediately ordered abandon aircraft and he stayed in position until all the crew were out before he jumped. Happy to say all survived due to his courage and skill. We were rounded up pretty quickly and sent to Dulag Luft [Prisoner of War (POW) transit camps for Air Force prisoners captured by Germany during the Second World War. -Ed] and prison. We were liberated early June by General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army. I am very impressed with the Memorial and feel a sense of closure after many years of waiting.”
A penny for your thoughts Frank. Lancaster air gunner, Frank Boyd spends a moment in silence and with the memories of the 36 operational sorties he and his crew participated in. Photo: David Carpenter
All the well-aged veterans in the delegation were, in the days of their Bomber Command service, young and vibrant men who, fully understanding the risks, were willing to sacrifice all their future sunrises. Luckily, Frank Boyd lived to enjoy the sacrifice. Photo via Frank Boyd
Mr. Edward (Ed) Carter-Edwards
was originally from Montréal, Québec and then raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He was part of 427 Lion Squadron, 6 Royal Canadian Air Force Group as a wireless operator/air gunner on 21 missions. On his 22nd mission, he was shot down near Paris. Betrayed to the Gestapo by a collaborator, he was threatened with execution and forced into the Fresnes prison, near Paris, for 5 weeks. He was then moved by cattle car to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944 where he stayed for three and a half months as one of 26 Canadians – 168 Allied airmen in all. He was part of two forced death marches shortly before the end of the war.
Ed Carter-Edwards, a wireless operator and air gunner of 427 Squadron RCAF and a POW, has a moment with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was also a volunteer Army driver during the war. Photo by Christina Gaudet
Mr. Jean Cauchy
was born in Lévis, Québec. As a pilot, he was assigned to 425 Alouette Squadron, after having flown Halifax Mk IIs and Vs from Dishforth, Yorkshire. While on his sixth raid, he was shot down over Hanover, Germany, and taken as a prisoner of war on January 5, 1945. He was liberated by the Russians four months later.
The oldest veteran in attendance was Mr. Donald (Pappy) Allan Elliott,
born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1917. As a trained observer, he was with RAF 99 Squadron. He was shot down over Cologne, Germany and was held for many years in Stalag Luft II in what is now Poland. He was “escorted” by the Russians via Sevastopol to liberation. He remembers being treated very well by the local Russian villagers on the journey back, as they were told that he was “Churchill’s son.”
Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Honourable Steven Blaney and 425 Squadron Lancaster crewman, Jean Cauchy view some of the names engraved on the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial. Photo: Canada Remembers-Facebook page for Veterans Affairs Canada
Mr. William David Leon Judge
was raised in Toronto, Ontario. He was aircrew with 419 Moose Squadron out of RAF Middleton St. George in Yorkshire. On return from a daytime raid over enemy territory, Mr. Judge witnessed two aircraft collide in mid-air. Sadly, he saw only two parachutes. At the Memorial unveiling, he was excited to meet the Royal Family – “I was hoping to meet the very beautiful Kate, you know,” he joked.
Mr. James (Jim) Moffat
was born in Timmins, Ontario. He was an air gunner, part of 427 Lion Squadron based in Leeming, Yorkshire. He was the sole survivor of a collision between the Halifax bomber in which he was flying and a Lancaster. Mr. Moffat spent six months behind enemy lines under the assumed name of Charles Lebrun, assisted by ordinary citizens and the French and Belgian Resistance.
Mr. Ronald (Shorty) Trevor Moyes
was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an air gunner, he first joined 429 Bison Squadron and then transferred to 405 Pathfinder Squadron with 15 successful operations. He remained in the RCAF after the war as an armourer and then joined the RCMP as a firearms technician.
Mr. Frasier A. Muir
was born in Westville, Nova Scotia. He was seconded to the RAF 50 Squadron of 5 Group based in Skellingthorpe, England. He was a mid-upper gunner and completed 35 operational missions. He wanted to honour and remember those friends he lost while “on squadron,” and those who passed away since. “They live in my memory as I close my eyes. They continue to float by. Memories are a blessing.”
Mr. Ronald George Pritchard
was born in Verdun, Québec. He was seconded to RAF 90 Squadron in Tuddenham, England as a rear gunner and completed 34 “ops”. He hoped to meet up with former squadron mates in England, in particular Colin Deverall who was also invited to the Bomber Command unveiling. The visit has brought back many memories to him, some good and some bad.
Mr. François-Guy Savard
was born in Saint-Romuald, Québec. He was a Pilot Officer in 425 Alouette Squadron and returned to Canada as a navigator on Lancaster KB944 which now sits in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. Mr. Savard travelled to London in memory of his brother, Flying Officer Raymond Savard, a navigator on 429 Bison Squadron, who was shot down and lost on a raid to Hanover, Germany, on January 5, 1945. He was also travelling to pay respect to his crew, of which he is the sole survivor.
Mr. Alfred (Al) Smith
was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He was a Flying Officer (navigator) with 415 Swordfish Squadron. He has been active in many commemorative associations and in particular has been a supporter of the Halifax NA337 restoration project. He is grateful to have been chosen to take part and to recognize the supreme sacrifice made, including that of his brother WO C. Tom Smith of Royal Air Force 15 Squadron, who died on May 26, 1943 over Dusseldorf and other friends, relatives and schoolmates.
Mr. Albert (Wally) Randall Wallace
was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He was a Pilot Officer on a Halifax with 419 Moose Squadron and had 15 successful operations. He was shot down in May of 1943 over Duisburg and managed to parachute out. Sadly, his pilot and wireless operator (Mac and Dave) were killed when the Halifax crashed. Mr. Wallace was held as a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III until released in 1945 and underwent two forced death marches in the final months of the war.
Toronto's Albert “Wally” Wallace (left), a 419 Squadron RCAF Halifax crew member joins Fred Stephens and George Mitchell and Donald Bishop and Tom Carney (behind), all RCAF Bomber Command aircrew for a salute to fallen comrades during their ceremony at Runnymede. Photo: David Carpenter
Mr. Jack Vincent Watts
was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He flew on RAF and RCAF squadrons throughout his wartime service, serving with 10, 462, 109 and 105 Squadrons. He finished the war as a Squadron Leader and received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with bar. Watts played in the CFL with the Hamilton Tigers and the Wildcats after the war and then rejoined the RCAF, retiring in 1975 as a Brigadier-General. He regrets that the passing of so many years has severely diminished the number of veterans who could witness this recognition on behalf of the bravery and sacrifice of so many young men who gave their lives to the cause of freedom.
An informal moment with RCAF Bomber Command comrades at Runnymede - BGen (ret`d) Jack Watts, DSO, DFC & Bar; François Savard, Ed Chenier, Robert Bradley. And walking behind is James Moffat.
Photo: David Carpenter
Mr. James Keatley Watson
was born in Montréal, Québec. He was a pilot with 35 Squadron, 4 Bomber Group, RAF based in Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire. He took part in the first 1000-bomber raid on Cologne. Sometime between June 8 and 9, 1942, while returning from Germany on his 13th mission, he was shot down in flames near Brussels, but was able to parachute to safety. He was held as a prisoner of war in Germany until 1945. Mr. Watson lost a brother and many, many friends during the Second World War, and is grateful to have a chance to pay tribute to these and many others in Bomber Command.
“The men who served in Bomber Command faced some of the most difficult odds of anyone fighting in the war. For much of the conflict, the regular duration for a tour of duty was 30 combat sorties. The risks were so high, however, that almost half of all aircrew never made it to the end of their tour. Despite the heavy losses, Bomber Command was able to maintain a steady stream of aircraft flying over U-boat bases, docks, railways and industrial cities in Germany, as well as enemy targets in occupied Europe from Norway to France.
Life as a bomber aircrew member was difficult. Usually seven men flew in a typical four-engined bomber like the Halifax and the Lancaster. These men worked together under great pressure on their night sorties. Take-offs were often tense, with a roaring aircraft loaded with tons of bombs and more than 6,000 litres of highly-flammable aviation gasoline racing down the runway. At high altitudes, the aircrews shivered in sub-zero temperatures, their oxygen masks sometimes freezing up. German fighters waited for them in the night skies over Europe and powerful searchlights and flak batteries guarded their targets, turning the skies into a hail of shrapnel. Evading the enemy defenses made for challenging flying that sometimes caused aircraft to go into a spin, while the pilot fought for control. Escape from a damaged plane was difficult and many of the Canadians who survived being shot down over enemy territory would become prisoners of war.
The central piece of the Bomber Command Memorial is a grouping of seven figures representing the aircrew positions typical of heavy bombers like the Halifax or Lancaster - pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, radio operator, engineer and gunners. They are portrayed in full high altitude gear and clothing. The sculptor is Philip Jackson
. Photo: David Carpenter
RCAF Bomber Command Veteran Nick Waslenchuk and his son Dennis during a poignant and personal moment at the memorial as Waslenchuck reaches out to touch the foot of one of the Memorial's figures. Photo: Canada Remembers-Facebook page for Veterans Affairs Canada
The sculptor of the seven main aircrew figures of the Memorial's central statue was Philip Jackson. The power and emotions of strength, determination and stress are evident in each figure. The authentic detail brings the men to life in heroic yet weary manner. Bomber Command Memorial by Cynrik De Decker
via Bomber Command Museum
The entire delegation of RCAF Bomber Command veterans pose in front of the unveiled Memorial in London, proudly wearing their RCAF jackets. This took place on June 29th, the day after the official ceremony. Photo: David Carpenter
After the fanfare and ceremony, ordinary citizens and tourists pay their respects. Photo by Craig Semplis, (ICU Craig65 on Flickr)
Women also played a role in Bomber Command. Members of the RCAF Women’s Division (WD) were stationed in England during the war years. While women did not serve in combat roles, they did perform important support work on the ground like being coding technicians, operating radios and plotting aircraft positions.
By the end of the Second World War, No. 6 Bomber Group (the only non-British Group in the Command) had carried out more than 40,000 sorties. Approximately 8,000 decorations for bravery were awarded to its members. There were exceptional acts of courage that would earn two Canadian airmen – Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski and Squadron Leader Ian Bazalgette – the Victoria Cross, our highest honour for military valour.” (text from the Department of Veterans Affairs http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/feature/bomber_command)
As the veterans finished their busy program and made their way back to Canada, to the surprise of all, two 425 Alouette Squadron RCAF CF-18s came to fly close escort over Canadian airspace. How appropriate and fitting. Well done!
One of the returning veterans quipped, "They couldn't kill us with their kindness - so now they're trying to shoot us down"!!
By Mark Fletcher, Vintage Wings of Canada Member at Large
During the Second World War, 425 Squadron, RCAF was one of the Canadian Bomber Command squadrons, flying Lancasters. As the Veterans Affairs delegation re-entered Canadian air space on their journey home, they were met by two CF-18 Hornet fighter/bombers of today's 425 Squadron flying out of Bagotville, Quebec. Good on ya, RCAF! Photo by Christina Gaudet
A 425 Squadron Hornet slides in tight to the Airbus in tribute to the honoured passengers aboard the RCAF transport. Photo by Christina Gaudet
Veterans Invited/Attending the Bomber Command Memorial
William Albert (Bill) Baxter, Calgary, Alberta • Robert Gifford Beaton, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Stanley Bieniawski, Wasaga Beach, Ontario • Donald Bishop, Bedford, Nova Scotia
Robert James Bradley, Ottawa, Ontario • Gilbert (Gilles) Boulanger • John R. Bower-Binns, Ottawa, Ontario
Frank Boyd, North York, Ontario • Charles Edgar Callas, Vernon, British Columbia
Tom Carney, Barrie, Ontario • Kenneth Brind, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
Jack Burch, Burnaby, British Columbia • Edward (Ed) Carter-Edwards, Smithville, Ontario
Jean Cauchy, Lévis, Québec • Edmond (Ed) Joseph Chenier, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Albert Dennis, North York, Ontario • Donald Allan Elliott, Caledon, Ontario
James Henry Fawcett, Napanee, Ontario • Stanley Heather, Mississauga, Ontario
Henry James (Chick) Hewett, Oshawa, Ontario • William David Leon Judge, Peterborough, Ontario
Raymond Thomas Lloyd, Maple Ridge, British Columbia • Malcolm MacConnell, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Bernard Graham McDonald, Ottawa, Ontario • John Caldwell McLean, Ottawa, Ontario
Clarence George Mitchell, Barrie, Ontario• James (Jim) Moffat , Belleville, Ontario
Roy Weldon Moffatt, Regina, Saskatchewan • Thomas Roddy Moffat, Quesnel, British Columbia
Ronald Trevor Moyes, Ottawa, Ontario • Fraser A. Muir, Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Ronald George Pritchard, Kanata, Ontario • François-Guy Savard, Ottawa, Ontario
Richard Frederick Sellen • Alfred L. (Al) Smith, Ottawa, Ontario • Fred Stephens, Thornhill, Ontario
William Leslie Vivian, Windsor, Ontario • Albert Randall Wallace, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Nick Waslenchuk, Kamloops, British Columbia • Jack Vincent Watts, Canmore, Alberta
James Keatley Watson, Pointe-Claire, Québec • Eric Wells
This list includes 41 of the 42 Veterans who were part of the Canadian contingent. The single person not listed was Halifax LW170 Tail gunner, Pilot Officer Ted Turner, 424 Squadron of Campbell River, British Columbia who accompanied the Bomber Command Museum of Canada delegation separately.
Photo credits unless otherwise indicated: David Carpenter, Christina Gaudet, the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight http://www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf/ and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/
Background, help and text: Suzanne Happe, Art Agnew, the Bomber Command Memorial Appeal http://www.bombercommand.com/ and the Department of Veterans Affairs http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/feature/bomber_command
The heroes behind the scenes
Canadians owe a debt of profound gratitude to the men and women of Bomber Command and indeed all of the RCAF. So too do they need to know of the behind the scenes work of groups like the Air Force Association of Canada and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada. Without their efforts, none of this would have been possible. Of the tireless work and indeed of the national importance of the Air Force Association of Canada, BGen (ret`d) Jack Watts, DSO, DFC & Bar (second from left) wrote recently, “Having recently returned from the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London, I feel impelled to record some of my thoughts about this momentous and emotional event..... It was an impressive and successful demonstration of the Association's national authority, scope and capability. We are now in a stage where the WWII veterans are rapidly diminishing in numbers. The various service organizations which represented the veterans in the past have closed shop, not by choice but simply as a fact of life's passing. This must not be the fate of the Air Force Association. The RCAF is once again a force in Canada and that alone should give reason for the continued role and existence of the Air Force Association. The Bomber Command Memorial was just one demonstration of the national role which is exercised by the Association. This capability and the preservation of the RCAF membership's way of life while serving their country must be maintained long after the last WWII RCAF veteran has passed away....” Photo via AFAC
No team should pose for a team photo without wearing their uniforms. Dax Wilkinson of Canada's Red Canoe National Heritage Brands offered the RCAF clothing at substantial discounts to the veterans. This allowed AFAC to purchase the hats, t-shirts and jackets for the veterans and other members of the delegation. The purchase of the gear was funded by donations from AFAC members. Photo via AFAC
Our veterans of Bomber Command. God bless them. Photo via AFAC
Some of the key people from the Bomber Command Museum of Canada who also worked behind the scenes to ensure that the Canadian sacrifices of Bomber Command were not forgotten. It was their drive and support that led to the Airbus trip for our deserving veterans. Left to right; Former CF-18 pilot and air force commander the Honourable Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton Centre; Jean Cauchy, Halifax Veteran; Toronto Senator Anne C. Cools; Karl Kjarsgaard of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Honourable Steven Blaney. Kudos to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and the Air Force Association of Canada for their vision, compassion and patriotism. You have done us proud.