A sailor based at CFB Esquimalt and a soldier with roots in Greater Victoria are among six Canadian Armed Forces members and one RCMP officer who will stand vigil at the National War Memorial in Ottawa for the Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 11.
Petty Officer Second Class Jacob Russell, stationed at the personnel coordination centre (Pacific) of CFB Esquimalt, will serve as the Royal Canadian Navy sentry commander for the group, announced recently by Acting Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne D. Eyre.
Cpl. Nicholas Kerr, whose tours of duty over his 18-year military career have included a mission in Afghanistan, was chosen as special guest of the acting chief of defence staff among this year’s sentinel group, which also includes one member of the RCMP.
While their duty at the Nov. 11 event is ceremonial, sentries are selected from many nominees across the country, based on such criteria as deployment experience, community involvement, physical fitness and record of conduct.
Edmonton-based Kerr, who grew up in Victoria as part of a military family and joined the regular force in August 2003 as an infantry soldier, served eight years with the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI) and for the past 10 years, he has been a member of the Primary Reserves. His selection to the Remembrance Day sentry group left him humbled and honoured.
“From a young age, Remembrance Day was taught to me as a very special and honourable day,” he said in a release. “During our mission in Afghanistan, I lost 24 friends and work colleagues, eight of whom I was a pallbearer for – one in particular was a very close friend to me, Corp. James Arnal.
I personally use this day to reflect, pay my respects and remember my friends, work colleagues and all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lest we forget.”
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