Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Kings and Queens of Battle

In military tradition, the Infantry is known as the "Queen of Battle". It is the infantry that takes and holds ground and destroys the enemy. The other combat arms and supporting arms are there to support the mission of the infantry.

Eight Nova Scotian infanteers and other soldiers have died in Afghanistan out of 46 Canadians who have paid the ultimate price. They are for me the Kings of Battle. That's 17 % of the fatalities from a province with about 4% or so of Canada's population. Nova Scotia has always had a grand military tradition, one that continues to this very day and is reflected in the inordinately high casualty rate from Afghanistan.

The current rotation of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are formed around 2RCR based in Gagetown NB, augmented by Reservists from the four Atlantic provinces. This week the first funeral for an Atlantic Canadian Army reservist killed in Afghanistan was held in Stellarton. Cpl Kevin Megeney was a member of the First Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders (North) (1 NSH(N)), a unit with a long and glorious military history. I had the honour and privilege of serving as an Army Reservist in Nova Scotia for 28 years, and over those years spent a lot of time with members of 1 NSH(N). The regiment is your family and more and I know that the whole regiment is in mourning for the loss of their comrade and brother in arms. My condolences go out to Cpl Megeney's family and to all the members of 1NSH(N) past, present, and future who have had and will have the honour of counting Cpl Megeney as one of their own.

Shakespeare got it right when he wrote "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother".

Thank you Cpl Megeney for your dedication, your service, and your sacrifice. You will be remembered.

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