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Gunner
Artillery Forum Moderator
Member # 39
Icon 10 posted 03. November 2001 23:34
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Last year I was in Bosnia for Remembrance Day. In Velika Kladusa (Camp Black Bear) we held a ceremony by the black granite markers that are inscribed with the names of those who were killed during UNPROFOR, IFOR, SFOR and KFOR.

It meant more to me last year. First, to honour those who had come before me (both from a historical sense and recent) and secondly, as an acquaintance was one of those who had been killed while serving.

Sapper Chris Holopina (Coralici was named after him) died in a vehicle accidnet (Bison roled over) in Bosnia during IFOR. I believe they had been responding to a possible mine incident that turned out to be false. Not a "heroic" way to dieing but it has happened to many Canadian soldiers serving in the Balkans.

Sapper Chris Holopina was originally a gunner, prior to joining the Regular Force, out of the 13 Fd Bty, 26 RCA in Portage La Prairie. I remember as a big kid as he was probably only 17 or 18 when I put him through QL2. I seem to recall he was a good worker and well regarded by most of us. He stayed with the unit for a couple of years and served in Cyprus with 1 RCHA in 1992/93. He must have joined the Regular Force in 1995 or so.

Anyway, everytime I went past his memorial on route Bluebird I always thought of him 10 or 11 years previously. Happy and young with his whole life in front of him. It came to an end in a country a kid from a small town in Manitoba had probably never heard of before.

Lest we forget the sacrifices of our fathers and friends.


[Canadian]

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Posts: 219 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
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Infanteer
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Icon 1 posted 04. November 2001 02:13
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Amen.
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Posts: 264 | From: Under Your Bed.... | Registered: Jun 2001
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Alfreda
Soldier
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Icon 1 posted 05. November 2001 09:14
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I think the first thing I remember is my father crying. It broke my heart. I wanted to ask him questions afterwards, but my mother told me to keep quiet. Now as an adult, I understand my father. We children can never comprehend. We can only have empathy for those who have suffered.
Cheers
Freda [Canadian]
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Posts: 32 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Sep 2001
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armybuck041
Recruit
Member # 549
Icon 18 posted 08. November 2001 01:12
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I was a good friend of Chris'. I completed my QL-3 with him and we were subsequently posted to 2 CER together. Trust me in saying that he is not forgotten. That tragedy hit us all very hard. Not only in his death, but the tragic injuries sustained by others who are no longer in the military due to their injuries. I was proud to be a pall bearer at his funeral and intend to go back to visit his grave someday soon. I would like to take the time to also mention Gilles Desmarais, another soldier on my QL-3 who was killed in Bosnia a little while later. Never underestimate the dangers we are placed in "after the guns stop firing". This sunday I will take take the time to remember.......
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Posts: 11 | From: CTC Gagetown | Registered: Nov 2001
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