All of Canada gathered together on May 28th, year 2000
to bury someones son. The only thing that was certain of him was was that he was young. "If death is a debt we all must pay, for he paid before he owed it". We do not know whose son he was. Or in fact his name. We do not know if he was a father. We do not know if his mother or wife received a telegram with words "Missing in Action". We do not know where he came from.

Was it the Prairies whose rolling sinuous
curves recall a certain kind of eternity?
Was he someone who loved our lakes and
knew them from a canoe?
Was he someone who saw the whales at
the mouth of the Saguenay?
Was he someone who hiked in the Rockies
or went sailing in the Atlantic or
in the Gulf Islands?
Did he have brown eyes?
Did he know what it was to love someone
and be loved back?
Was he a father who had seen
his child?
Did he love hockey?
Did he play defence?
Did he play football?
Could he kick a field goal?
Did he like to fix cars?
Did he dream of owning a Buick?
Did he read poetry?
Did he have freckles?
Did he think nobody understood him?
Did he just want to go out and
have a good time with the boys?

We will never know the answers. We will never know him. But we will honour someone who could be all those things and now is no more. He is unknown by name, but is known in the hearts of Canadians by the virtues that we respect--selflessness honour, courage and commitment. This unkown soldier was not able to live out this allotted span of life to contribute to his country. But in giving himself totally through duty, commitment, love and honour he has become part of us forever. As we are part of him.


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