CEFCOM NR–08.027 - July 19, 2008
OTTAWA– Yesterday, a Canadian soldier was killed just before midnight Kandahar time. The soldier was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device while on a foot patrol in Panjwayi District.
The fallen soldier is Corporal James (Jim) Hayward Arnal of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Shilo, Manitoba.
First aid was administered to Corporal Arnal immediately following the incident. He was evacuated by helicopter to Kandahar Air Field’s Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility, but sadly was pronounced dead upon arrival.
All members of Task Force Kandahar are thinking of the family and friends of our fallen comrade during this time of sorrow. The dedication and sacrifice of soldiers like Corporal Arnal are helping to make a difference in the lives of countless Afghan citizens.
It was an emotional day for Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan who paid tribute to their fallen comrades Saturday.
Many soldiers held back tears and others wept openly as they pinned poppies to a wreath before a simple wooden cross in a rainy Remembrance Day ceremony in Kandahar. Many of the soldiers were from the A Company of 2nd battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, which has suffered many losses this year.
"They were like big brothers," Pte. Mackenzie Haut, 21, of Edmonton said. "I was an only child growing up in my family. In the army, the camaraderie is a lot like a brotherhood."
"It would be important to them to know that we can still be combat-effective and accomplish our missions without them. And then, when the mission's done, we can remember them and mourn in our own ways."
Sgt.-Maj. John Hooyer recited lines from "For the Fallen", written by British poet Laurence Binyon.
"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
He also urged his troops to remember and honour their fallen comrades, but also to maintain their resolve.
Pte. James Arnal, 23, said this year's Remembrance Day should offer Canadians from coast to coast, many divided over the Afghan mission, some fresh perspective.
"We're here so that these people can have the same opportunities we have back home ... and not have dictatorships such as the Taliban telling them what to do," he said.