Flyby over Victoria a salute to peacekeepers

Aug 10, 2020

Photo: Michael Kaehler

A CC-115 Buffalo aircraft from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron conducted a flyby over Victoria at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, to mark National Peacekeepers Day.

On Sunday, August 9th, 2020, Canadian Armed Forces personnel and civilians gathered to honour those who have died in peace-support operations. The commemoration was organized by the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association and Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt for National Peacekeeping Day.

“The aircraft will fly over the event at an altitude no lower than 500 feet above the highest point of the flyby route, before resuming a higher altitude for the return trip to 19 Wing Comox,” said CFB Esquimalt in a post on Facebook.

National Peacekeepers’ Day was established in Canada in 2008 and takes place every August 9th. It pays tribute to members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces, as well as Canadian diplomats and civilians who have contributed to supporting international peacekeeping and security efforts.

More than 125,000 Canadian peacekeepers have participated in numerous peacekeeping efforts around the world over the past 60 years, according to data available on Veteran Affairs Canada’s website.

August 9th marks the largest single-day loss of Canadian lives during peace operations, when nine Canadian Forces members perished when their Buffalo aircraft was shot out of the sky over Syria in 1974.

“We are not only remembering those who have died in operations,” said Jim Macmillan-Murphy, President of the Association’s B.C. chapter. “We also remember those whose experiences are complicit in their subsequent death or whose service was cut short regardless of the cause, no matter their mission at home or abroad.”

The event started at 7 p.m. at the cenotaph on the legislature grounds. It was live-streamed at facebook.com/esquimaltbase. A small group of dignitaries placed a poppy in a wreath at the cenotaph. A single CC-115 Buffalo aircraft from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron flew past in salute.

(News Source: Times Colonist, Pedro Arrais with files from CHEK News)

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