I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who supported the recent repatriation of John Robert Gallagher to Blenheim. From our departure in Toronto which was supported in a huge way by the members of the Kurdish Community to the elderly man who stood alone on a Toronto sidewalk and saluted us as we drove by, to everyone who stood on the bridges or stopped along the side of the road on our way home and held flags, saluted and waved…it was a truly humbling experience.
As overwhelming as the drive home was, nothing could have prepared me for the support that was shown once we entered Chatham-Kent and especially when we exited Hwy 401 to make our way to Blenheim. There were so many people waiting for us on that bridge that there was only enough room to drive the car between them. People saluted, waved and threw roses in front of the hearse. From that point until we arrived in Blenheim there was never a stretch of the road that wasn’t occupied. What a tremendous, tremendous outpouring of support!
To Patricia deBrouwer for talking to all of the downtown merchants, thank you. To Jeff Campbell for co-ordinating the band, thank you. To the C-K Police and Firefighters, thank you. To everyone at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 185 in Blenheim for everything you do and for gathering outside the Legion to show your respect as we drove by, thank you. To Dan at the Blenheim Tim Horton’s who donated all the coffee, donuts and muffins for everyone who came from Toronto, thank you…the veterans who rode their bikes all the way from Toronto and ended up returning that night really appreciated the chance to get warmed up and have something to eat. I’m sure I’m missing some folks but your efforts did not go unnoticed.
And finally to everyone who helped out at the Funeral Home on Friday…to Gail, Lynn, Makaila, Jennifer, Anna, Cathy and Audrey…for keeping everything organized and keeping in constant contact with us as we were enroute, thank you so much.
I’m so proud to be a member of this community!