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Ceremony of Remembrance, Choloy, France

Annually in November Royal Canadian Legion Members from the Lahr and Baden Area host a Remembrance Ceremony that pays tribute and honours the sacrifice of the 778 burials in this cemetery. Most of the burials are allied Air Force personnel of the Second World War with 62 being Canadian along with two Canadian Soldiers.

In addition there are 332 post war graves of Canadian Military Personnel and their family members who died in the service of their country while serving with NATO from 1953 to 1994. 276 are Military Members and 56 Family Members.

Military members that paid the supreme sacrifice in wars; WWl, WWll, the Korean War have been honoured by ceremonies throughout the years at cemeteries and memorials placed in their honour in Canada and many other places in the world and rightfully so the men and women of today that have also paid the supreme sacrifice on United Nations Missions like in the former Yugoslavia, today in Afghanistan and other peace missions around the world are honoured.

Unfortunately until just recently members of Canada’s Forces that paid the supreme sacrifice serving to protect the same ideals and contributed to the peace and freedom we enjoy today under NATO have been neglected and did not receive the same honours that they rightfully deserve.

Initiatives are being taken to resolve this shortcoming and I am happy to say the Royal Canadian Legion has finally incorporated the NATO Flag into the Legion Colours this will acknowledge in some way and serve as a tribute to members of the Forces that served with NATO.

We were especially honoured at this years ceremony to have Rob Donald from Canada present. Unfortunately Rob has both his father F/O RB Donald - Navigator who was killed in the crash of a CF 100 and Uncle F/O BG "Bruce" Donald pilot of an F-86 Sabres that crashed buried in this cemetery. Rob was the first family member to visit the grave site since the accidents and was quite overwhelmed that we do this ceremony. On his return home he sent a letter of appreciation from his family.

Just wanted to send a message to let you know that I'm back home again. I had an incredible last week and managed to get to Montbronn despite the train strike. Met up with an older fellow who had witnessed my fathers crash. He pointed me in the right direction and I ended up finding the actual crash site. It was a very impactful moment.

More importantly, however, I want to once again thank you and everyone who was at Choloy on the 18th for what you did. I was the representative of our family but there is many members back here who were with me in spirit.

It was wonderful to be able to tell them that your group takes time out of their year to honour the individuals buried at these sites and that they are not forgotten.

We still care very much for these two men. From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much for what you are doing. If you get together for Christmas please thank everyone for me and maybe even tip a pint or two. I know I'll be doing that in your honour.

The three weeks that I spent in Europe will impact our family in a positive way for many many years to come. Have a great holiday season. The Canadian Legion group in Europe will be honored in Vernon over the holidays.

Take care,

Rob Donald

Chaloy France Remembrance 2007Chaloy France Remembrance 200Chaloy France Remembrance 200Chaloy France Remembrance 200Reg Bonnar and Jerry LemayL to R Reg Bonnar, nice man, Alfonse and Harry

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