Tuesday, August 09, 2005

With the Greatest Gratitude; a Last Sunrise

The great bell atop our Peace Tower tolled 91 times as Sgt (retired) Ernest Alvia "Smokey" Smith (VC, CM, OBC, CD) arrived on Parliament Hill today, for the last time.

Ever wonder what kind of wisdom the experience of fighting in two wars (he re-enlisted for Korea) leaves someone with?

Master Cpl. Bud Dickson (aide de camp to Smokey for the past 10 years) once sat in silence with him while they watched the sun come up over the Mediterranean, and this is what Smokey told him:

"Try to do this as often as you can. You never know when your last sunrise is going to be".


After 91 years of sunrises this Canadian hero will be laid to rest, fittingly, in the year of the Veteran. After laying in state in Ottawa, a full military funeral will be held Saturday, 13 August 2005 at St Andrew-Wesley Church, 1012 Nelson Ave, Vancouver, BC (following a 24-hour vigil and funerary procession from the Seaforth Armoury, 1650 Burrard St). I encourage everyone who can go to do so.

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