A Proud Cross-Canada Flyover for Snowbirds Turns Tragic

“For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times. … Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud.”                                     – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper followed by a Statement issued this May 18th, 2020 by Canada’s Prime Minister

Posted May 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Commentary by Doug Draper

I’ve never been much for shows of military or para-military strength. Often, they have even repulsed me, and even if it is our own Canadians forces, have left me with thoughts like; “Okay, this sure looks awesome. But what if some leader with an authoritarian bent decides to turn it on us? It’s not as if there aren’t truckloads of historic precedence for that.”

Canada’s Golden Hawks, flying over the lower Niagara River, sometimes more than 50 years ago.

Yet, I have to make a confession. Since I was a wee little kid, there has always been a proud spot in my heart for Canada’s great air show or aerobatic teams which like it or not, were military based.

My introduction to the great Canadian air show was an Air Force team of breathtaking daredevils, soaring through the skies in Korean War-vintage Sabre Jets, called ‘The Golden Hawks’.

As nationalistic as what I am about to say may sound, I still remember The Golden Hawks performing their hair-raising manoeuvres back to back at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) with The Blue Angels, an American Air Force aerobatic team that, unlike our guys, was being featured in a prime time TV show at the time.

The Golden Hawks, as popular as they were, eventually were grounded by the federal government

The Blue Angels flew some very nice, tight formations, and The Golden Hawks did all of those on their way in and way out of the lakefront, and in between, our flyers smoked them with moves that had you at the edge of your seat, wondering how much closer they could pass without a mid-air collision.

I am not much of a flag waver either, but if I had a flag in my hand, I would have been waving it that day. That jet squad, where ever it performed around the world, did Canada proud around a time that our country was celebrating its centennial.

Tragically, The Golden Hawk suffered a few fatal accidents and it didn’t seem long after the CNE show that whatever federal government we had at the time decided to ground them for good.

Then, in the 1970s, came The Snowbirds, a follow-up Air Force aerobatic team I initially never thought could match The Golden Hawks, but has been making generations of Canadians proud ever since.

A few weeks back, The Snowbirds, began doing flyovers from cost to cost, and had been doing a great job of lifting peoples’ spirits during these perilous times. Then this May, Victoria Day weekend, there was the tragic crash in British Columbia that killed one of their members and seriously injuring another.

Canada’s Snowbirds

You are hearing this news with feelings of sorrow for the person who died and their family and friends. And you can’t help but think how much we have all been put through as a country with the pandemic.

Now we have The Snowbirds’ cross-country tour ending in tragedy. A month ago, we had the horrific mass-shooting in Nova Scotia, and we continue to have that unhinged creep in The White House to the south of us, earlier on threatening to line the U.S.-Canada border with troops when he wasn’t threatening to confiscate protective medical equipment our country had already ordered from American-based countries, and now pushing states across America to open up to what very well could be a second, even more destructive wave of the virus.

Let’s hope that Canada, as a country, continues to keep the border closed to any virus-carrying Trumpies that might want to come up here, and that we remain strong together through this, and come out of it with a new normal that is better than the normal we had before.

Now here is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on the tragic Snowbirds crash –

May 17, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the fatal Canadian Armed Forces aircraft crash in Kamloops, British Columbia:

The Snowbirds soar over Parliament Hill during a Canada Day celebration

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one Canadian Armed Forces member, Captain Jennifer Casey, and one injured, Captain Richard MacDougall, in today’s Snowbirds aircraft crash in Kamloops, British Columbia.

“Our thoughts are with the families of Captain Casey and Captain MacDougall, as well as the entire Canadian Forces Snowbirds team, as they grieve this terrible loss. I would also like to thank the emergency personnel in Kamloops who responded so quickly to this tragic incident.

“For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times. Every day, they represent the very best of Canada and demonstrate excellence through incredible skill and dedication. Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud.

“Sophie and I join all Canadians in offering our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Captain Jennifer Casey. All Canadians are with you during this difficult time.”

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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