Friday, December 10, 2004

He danced the Skies on Laughter Silvered Wings

Damien Brooks at comments today's sad death, in a training accident, of Captain Miles Selby (age 31) a pilot of the famed Canadian Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Snowbirds.

Every time I hear of something like this, I find myself chafing to find out the names of those involved. I worry that it's someone I know, someone I've lost touch with over the years. I visualize an old classmate, or someone who put me through training. ... I don't know why I need to know a name; the grief arrives no matter what. But I always try to find out as quickly as I can.

The Canadian Forces is like that. It is a pretty small, close knit community and death hits the community hard. Like Damien Brooks, I didn't know Captain Selby, but we both know many like him. They are intensely proud fliers and very loyal Canadians. They serve.

Frankly, Canadians are not worthy of their service, for this nation is unwilling to live up to its side of the unstated bargain which ought to bind a democratic people and its military. Those who serve in our profession of arms have shown their readiness to suffer great hardship, to fight and if necessary to die, in order to protect our freedoms. We, in turn, have failed in our reciprocal duty to support them properly by giving them the first rate equipment, training opportunities and numbers of personnel to ensure their risk is minimalized when they go into harms way. Shame on us.

Elizabeth II Queen of Canada, in commissioning Miles Selby an officer in Her Canadian Armed Forces, reposed, "especial Trust and Confidence in his Loyalty, Courage and Integrity." He fulfilled that especial trust. Tonight I ask you to join me in praying for him and for his wife and family who must now be suffering greatly.

I will say no more tonight on this or any other topic, for tonight this blog is dedicated not to politics, but to a dedicated officer. You served well, sir.

May perpetual light shine upon you.

Per ardua ad astra!


At 10:29 am, December 12, 2004 , Blogger Alan said...


E-mail me about joining the Red Ensign.

At 10:30 am, December 12, 2004 , Blogger Alan said...

Oops. That was me. Occam's Carbuncle.

At 6:48 pm, December 12, 2004 , Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Well said, John. We need to keep talking about the breakdown of the social contract between our soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and the voters they serve. It can't continue to be one-way. We're losing too many good people, this way, and less dramatically through early retirement attrition.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home