A Concert for Peace, but a message of hope to all Veterans Across Canada! by Kevin Rivette – Nativity Church – Cornwall Ontario – Sunday April 18, 2010

A Concert for Peace, but a message of hope to all Veterans Across Canada!

Cornwall ON – When I heard of Chorus Novus Concert for Peace that will be held in Dedication of the Veterans which will take place on April 18, 2010 at Nativity Church on Montreal Road in Cornwall at 7:30 PM, I felt that this was the time to prove that sometimes the smallest voices are the ones who are the most heard in the eyes of God and the eyes of Canadians The echoes of their music will be not only heard in our community but shared with all of the military families across Canada. But even more so, on the anniversary date of the passing of the first of the 142 that Canadian Soldiers that we lost in our Peacekeeping mission.

He was born in our city, grew up in our riding and lost in life in combat on April 17, 2002. As he sits beside his forefathers, his brothers and sisters, fathers and grandfathers of combat in arms in heaven, this article as does this concert pays tribute to them and we hope that you will choose to be present with me and with the Legers for this concert for peace for all military families past present and future.

My comrade, Sergeant Marc Léger was born in Cornwall, Ontario, on March 26, 1973, and was the eldest of three children born to Claire and Richard Léger. Marc enrolled in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Forces in March of 1991 and was a member of the SDG Highlanders. A graduate of Glengarry High School of Alexandria and was transferred to the Regular Force in Feb 1993 and became a member of the PPCLI and enrolled in their battle school and was posted to the First Battalion and served as a rifleman. Transferred to the Third Battalion  in 1996  and He enrolled in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Forces in March 1991 as a member of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders.

The Glengarry High School of Alexandria graduate subsequently transferred to the Regular Force in February 1993 and became a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). He served with the unit for three tours in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina). He was promoted Acting Sergeant in January 2002. In February 2002, he was deployed to Afghanistan with the 3 PPCLI Battle Group as part of Operation Apollo, Canada’s commitment to the international campaign against terrorism. Marc was part of the 3 PPCLI battle group during mission Appolo, and international campaign against terrorism, was a parachute qualified and was awarded the South West Asia Medal and Unites States Bronze Star as well as commendations for demonstrating initiative and compassion while a peacekeeper in Livno Valley in Bosnia-Herzegoviana.

Marc Acted as a volunteer firefighter in Lancaster Fire Dept and assisted with a Charity that held close to his heart being Habitat for Humanity. Marc died during what is called “The Friendly Fire Incident”. After many discussion with the military records department , the Legers  has the  records corrected and the date that the incident occurred being the 17th of April 2002 and not the 18th of April as often state in the presses and medias. To be noted as well that Marc brought three other brothers in arms with him on this day being Private Nathan Smith, Private Richard Green and Cpl Ainsworth Dyer to whom the Legers mourned with three other Silver Cross Families during this timeframe.

Although a very difficult time in this morning period for the Legers , they have both chosen to be a part of this ceremony on April 18, 2010 to send a personal message of faith to all of the military families across Canada. Their presence echoes the silent prayers of all military and Canadian Silver Cross Families across the nation. A strong desire for peace around the world. As I sit beside them and others in this mission of patronage and recognition of our military and their actions, I feel very privileged to have them come to our community and join this musical journey with our community.  While I was musically invited to be a part of this celebration due to time restraints in my work schedule and conflicting practice schedule, I had to decline. But for a fourth time this year, the first with the Red Ribbon Forces Campaign, the second with the Project Goodbye Adieu Fundraising CD, the third for the Red Ribbons being worn on all of the CJHL Hockey Teams Across Ontario and now this concert for peace, it is again another simple act of recognition to those who have done so much for the call of freedom and peace in our community. Something that the Legers wish to acknowledge the echos of all the silver cross families across Canada , On behalf of the Legers, they wish to extend to all involved in advance their most sincere appreciation and thanks from all of the Silver Cross Families in Canada.

Again , I call upon you our Citizens of Cornwall and Area to Support the Troops, Believe in Change and join us in this concert for the vision of Peace. Tickets are available at Scotia Bank , Brookdale Avenue Cornwall and at the door for the cost of 12.00 per person and children aged 16 years and under are admitted for free. Please come and join us for this celebration of peace. Sunday April 18, 2010 at Nativity Church on Montreal Road in Cornwall at 7:30 PM.

Story submitted by Kevin Rivette

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  1. It’s awkward to comment on an article that focuses on a personal tragedy; it makes dissent seem rude and makes questioning the wrong-headness of our waging war in Afghanistan, seem like an insult to the memory of a life lost.

    But whether or not it is a good time to oppose that wrong-headedness, …it is a right time to stop any propaganda that smoothes over sacrificing our very own flesh and blood for mammon.

    It is not a peace keeping mission at all, not in name and not in fact; we we are conducting war. And to romanticize our presence in Afghanistan is tantamount to lying.

    Complicit, complacent, corrupted …whatever, Canadians at large blindly support this carnage that paves a road to riches for war industries, a road to power for politicians, and puffed up war records for the tacticians and brass, far behind the lines.

    Hapless men and women ordered into danger, loved and worried over by family, cheered on and backed up (way way back) by too many Canadians, for whom they are surrogates — a source of vicariously living for armchair generals drawn from the civilian ranks of sidewalk superintendents.

    Our troops have been called young men, and even kids, depending on whether sympathy, sentimentality or patriotism was being cultivated by the brass and politicians. And Canadians at large have used them poorly as well.

    And the early gung ho spirit that saw victory proclaimed prematurely, and our winning body counts reported like sports scores, has given way to a weary, bedraggled excuse that we must stay the course, lest those that have died will have died in vain.

    That was also the story in the 1970’s, in Viet nam.

    With the death of each American mother’s son in Vietnam, someone was preaching that the death would be in vain if “we” didn’t continue – “we”, presumably, was someone else’s son. But lo and behold, after 57,000 sons, it was in vain after all.

    Today, another war props up another corrupt administration, and another mindless challenge is now thrown out to Canadians, to “stay the course” – as though offering up more sons and fathers, or mothers and daughters is somehow reasonable.

    It was under the supposed obligations of a NATO partner, that Canadian troops were sent into battle. Yet somehow our NATO obligation can be set aside with a withdrawal in 2011. So really, why were we there at all?

    Not supporting our troops, you say?
    Well anyone can support troops, our enemies do that much, and for extra measure God is on both sides.

    If you don’t stand behind them, try standing in front of them , you say?
    Given our record, that of our allies, and that of our enemies… civilians are just so much collateral damage.

    Maybe it’s time to put aside some the clichés and THINK!

    THINK! …about politicians riding the patriotic wave somewhere between the crest of war fervor, and the trough of our dead and wounded – politicians that start by glad handing at funerals then move on to exploit a nation’s grief for a few votes more.

    THINK! …about despicable “redfridays” profiteers peddling ball caps and fridge magnets made in China in a mockery of our dead and wounded – staging tacky parades down the 401, while their shills milk mourners along the way.

    How can there be any win, or justification for losing anyone as promising as Mr. Leger? But is a faulty logic that can take that loss and support the corrupt, cruel, tribal and superstitious toilet of intrigue that we are supporting in Afghanistan.

    And in closing…

    The loss felt by the small part of the world that Marc made better, and the lives he touched, is a sorrow. His individual intentions and energy for those around him remain an inspiration.

  2. Mr. John Smith (if that is your real name):

    I wonder if your opinion is based on experience gained as a soldier participating in an operational mission or as you state, as “an armchair general” living in the world of academia?

  3. What difference does it make James? He seems to have a very level headed point to make towards this all. Would you like to debate and debunk it? Go ahead.

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