+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    4 low, 4 high, 4 low

    It was meant to be a time of pride and remembering our history. However, as the Navy celebrated its 100th anniversary, it became a day of sombre remembrance; the Canadian Navy had just suffered its first combat related death in the War in Afghanistan...a brave man whos task was to stop others from dying due to IEDs.

    I had the day off today...a rarity in itself. I decided that with my roots in the Sea Cadet program, I had to go to an overpass and bid farewell to a hero, PO2 Blake. This wasn't just another soldier...he was a sailor! A sailor in a freakin' desert. Every other troop that has travelled the Highway has been met by cheers, salutes and more Canadian flags than one can imagine. This...this was something different. This was the Navy, and the Navy is very heavily steeped in tradition. Before leaving the house, I grabbed my Boatswain's Pipe. Don't ask why...it just seemed like the thing to do.

    1618...two Toronto Police motorcycles roar past on the Highway below. Moments later the hearse carrying Canada's latest war dead is visible. I had decided that this parade would be special...even if it were just to those around me; even if it was just between the PO and I. Even if it were just for me. As the hearse drove by, proudly standing at attention, this ol' cadet piped the side in honour of a fallen seaman...a personal farewell to a soul who sails forevermore alongside King Neptune and his great court.

    A hand lightly graces my shoulder. An old veteran stares me in the face...the warmest face possible attached to cold eyes. "Thank you, son" the old warrior said. "That was wonderful."

    Its funny what inspires you. I was always decent with a pipe, but this one came out loud and clear...I'd say just about perfect; as if every time I had piped the side was practice for this moment.

    I felt good knowing that I could add just a little bit of Naval tradition to honour this brave man. I hope it never has to happen again.
    Doug "The Dougler" Campbell scsm
    Lieutenant Commander (NL)
    Divisional Staff Officer - Jefferies Squadron (West)
    Man this place needs Slinkies.


  2. #2
    Teh_Jackson is a glorious beacon of light Teh_Jackson is a glorious beacon of light Teh_Jackson is a glorious beacon of light Teh_Jackson is a glorious beacon of light Teh_Jackson is a glorious beacon of light Teh_Jackson is a glorious beacon of light Teh_Jackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    2009
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    1,135
    Gender
    Blog Entries
    7
    Amazing story, a beautiful once in a lifetime moment that will stick with you forever, and now probably me. thanks for sharing
    scsmCPO1 (Retired) Jacksonlsm
    malm
    Onward!
    nlcae

  3. #3
    Awesome! I gave this a sticky

  4. #4
    ALI~2853 is on a distinguished road ALI~2853's Avatar
    Join Date
    2006
    Location
    Waterford, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,050
    Gender
    Blog Entries
    2
    I wish I lived closer and didn't have to work yesterday so I could have stood at an overpass as he came home. The TSM of my former cadet corps actually had a chance to be on the news (possibly because she goes to the highschool the PO went to). But all this keeps hitting closer and closer to home, it's really sad.
    ret. WO Hartsgrove, A rclcmearmycsm BSM 2853 RCACC
    CL 05 G-Coy Blackdown
    CLI PERT 06 C-Coy Connaught
    CLI D&C 07 A-Coy Blackdown
    F-Coy Sgt. 08 Blackdown&C-Coy Sgt. 09 Connaught

  5. #5
    Good job! They also piped the side for him here at KAF during the ramp ceremony.
    Lt(N) Nathan T. Brown, Sr. (Ret'd)
    gsm5cd para
    armycsm1

  6. #6
    Has a belly button Bubbles is on a distinguished road Bubbles's Avatar
    Join Date
    2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    1,240
    Blog Entries
    1
    That is an inspiring story, thanks for sharing it.
    ~Bubbles~

  7. #7
    I have to admit that I'm air to the core but even I found this incredibly inspiring...thank you for sharing this
    Freedom isn't Free
    !!!LEAD THROUGH THE DARKNESS!!!
    Per Ardua Ad Astra
    Success Through Perseverance
    Warrant Officer 2nd Class Wright

  8. #8
    I'm a bit late reading this post but Wow.

    I have to admit I started to cry as soon as you mentioned grabbing your pipe. Being a communicator and my current position here at Maritime Atlantic HQ, I know all about the Navy, its traditions and the pride behind all of it. PO Craig Blake would have apperciated it, along with all the sailors mourning the lost of a great man.

    Thank You.
    swasmgcs MS Lynn-Marie Quesnelle, RCN
    Canadian Space Operations Center - Space Watch Crew Chief
    Lynn-Marie.Quesnelle@forces.gc.ca

  9. The Following 3 Users Like This Post By LabradorSailor :


  10. #9
    BlackPage is on a distinguished road BlackPage's Avatar
    Join Date
    2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    174
    Gender
    Blog Entries
    16

    Sea re

    I was also there, on the sidewalk near the coroner's in Toronto. I too grabbed my pipe, and, although only able to wear my STU's, stood at attention and piped the side. After, an elderly veteran pulled me aside and said "thank you, that was beautiful. You made an old coot cry." Yes, I cried too. It was a sad, sad day for us RCSCs and the RCN, and the CF in general, but I will never forget PO or the Vet.

  11. #10
    This makes me wish I'd done band rather than marksmanship.
    Very inspiring and a magnificent thing you did, thankyou.
    [/M]
    Master Warrent Officer - Shepherd, Sam
    Company Sergeant Major - 2379 Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Cadet Corps (Burlington, Ont)
    para - rclcme
    canada

  12. #11
    BlackPage is on a distinguished road BlackPage's Avatar
    Join Date
    2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    174
    Gender
    Blog Entries
    16

    Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by sam.shepherd2379 View Post
    This makes me wish I'd done band rather than marksmanship.
    Very inspiring and a magnificent thing you did, thankyou.
    I'm assuming that you think (when us squids refer to the 'pipe') that we're talking about a musical instrument. What we're actually referring to is the Boatswain's pipe, which is, basically, a loud and shrill whistle. It conveys orders, and, on a ship, cuts through all the noise, making it easier to hear. To 'pipe the side' is like a salute. I will include links for your reference...

    General info: http://readyayeready.com/navy-life/boatswains-call.htm

    Listen to it (Please, turn down your speakers a bit!):http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/cms/5/5-a_eng.asp?id=506 (NOTE: On this site, is is only called the 'side'. It is the same thing.)

  13. The Following User Likes This Post By BlackPage :


  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPage View Post
    I'm assuming that you think (when us squids refer to the 'pipe') that we're talking about a musical instrument. What we're actually referring to is the Boatswain's pipe, which is, basically, a loud and shrill whistle.
    Thankyou for that. Shows my knowledge of Naval tradition! And you don't have to refer to yourselves as 'squids' I don't believe in the elemental negativity, I just wanted to express my gratitude that someone did something so meaningful, even if I don't understand the full extent of the meaning.
    [/M]
    Master Warrent Officer - Shepherd, Sam
    Company Sergeant Major - 2379 Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Cadet Corps (Burlington, Ont)
    para - rclcme
    canada

  15. #13
    BlackPage is on a distinguished road BlackPage's Avatar
    Join Date
    2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    174
    Gender
    Blog Entries
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by sam.shepherd2379 View Post
    And you don't have to refer to yourselves as 'squids' I don't believe in the elemental negativity.... (CONT)
    I say it in humor, really. But hey, no problemo. If you DO want to know more about naval history/tradition, let me know!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts