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Thousands Honour Fallen Soldier

Posted on Friday, January 30 at 17:41 by shiver

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PEMBROKE, Ont. -- For the second time in just four months, members of this small community gathered to honour a Canadian soldier from nearby CFB Petawawa killed in Afghanistan.
More than 3,000 people, civilians and soldiers alike, paid tribute to Cpl. Jamie Murphy, 26, who was felled Tuesday when a suicide bomber jumped onto his jeep in Kabul and detonated two mortar bombs.
Murphy, from Conception Harbour, Nfld., was 10 days away from completing his six-month tour of duty and had been planning to buy a house in Pembroke with his partner, Candace McCauley.
McCauley and Murphy's parents were in a long line of family, friends and dignitaries, including Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson and military chief Gen. Ray Henault, ushered into the town arena to the skirl of bagpipes.
Hundreds of civilians, soldiers in dress uniform and veterans in legion jackets looked on before a makeshift cenotaph.
It was the same spot where many of the same people gathered in October to honour two other Canadian soldiers killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan: Sgt. Robert Alan Short, 42, and Cpl. Robbie Beerenfenger, 29, who died when their jeep struck an explosive device.
Maj.-Gen. Marc Caron, acting chief of land staff, hailed Murphy as a great soldier and ambassador for Canada.
"Soldiers such as Cpl. Murphy, who wear our nation's uniform so proudly, have become our very credential around the world,'' Caron told the hushed crowd.
"Wherever he served, he made a difference as a soldier and a human being -- he did not die in vain.''
Murphy's body, which was returned to Canada on Thursday, remained in Toronto where an autopsy was being conducted.
On Thursday, a military guard of honour stood at attention as Murphy's flag-draped coffin was hoisted by eight comrades acting as pallbearers while dignitaries, including Prime Minister Paul Martin, looked on.
Murphy is to be buried next week in Newfoundland.
© Copyright 2004 Canadian Press


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