Monday (Aug. 9) marks the memory of the largest single-day loss of life during peace operations for Canada.
Nine Canadian Forces members died when a Buffalo aircraft was shot out of the sky over Syria in 1974. The Syrian forces claimed they believed the slow-moving propeller driven aircraft in white and blue United Nations colours was an Israeli fighter jet.
National Peacekeepers’ Day is traditionally marked with a service at the cenotaph in Victoria, which commemorates those who have fallen in defence of Canada in war and peace. This year the event shifts to the Esquimalt cenotaph in Memorial Park to avoid conflict with a planned protest at the B.C. legislature.
This year’s 29th annual ceremony also marks the retirement of the CC-115 Buffalo aircraft with a flypast from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, as well as the 100th anniversary of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.
The commemoration is organized by the British Columbia Chapter of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association, with the assistance of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Guests will include federal, provincial and municipal representatives, current and retired military and police.
The National Peacekeepers’ Day event gets underway at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9 in Memorial Park, 1200 Esquimalt Rd. Pandemic protocols may limit community participation on site.
A similar event takes place Monday evening at the cenotaph in Chemainus, 9799 Willow St.
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