A 45-millimetre medal unveiled this November by the 110 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Yarmouth, N.S., commemorates two important anniversaries.
This December marks 10 years since the death of Sergeant Kirk Taylor, a local cadet corps volunteer who was 28 years old when he died while serving in Afghanistan. A former sea cadet in nearby Barrington, N.S., Taylor also volunteered with the cadet corps in Yarmouth while serving as a reservist with the Royal Canadian Artillery.
More than 2,000 people gathered in a hockey arena to remember Taylor on Jan. 11, 2010, according to a report by the Canadian Press. It was little more than a week after his death, which took place on Dec. 30, 2009, when he was among four soldiers and a journalist killed by a roadside bomb.
“These four brave soldiers lost their lives seeking to help Afghans build a better future for themselves,” said then prime minister Stephen Harper in a statement on New Year’s Eve, 2009.
“They represent the best Canada has to offer and they perished in a far-away land, working tirelessly to advance Canadian values. We owe them a debt we can never repay.”
Taylor is remembered on one side of the medal, which commemorates the corps’ 115th anniversary on the other side.
Commanding officer Captain Gary Hudson began considering how to mark the two occasions last year, and Alberta’s SGS Marketing was eventually hired to produce the medals, 400 of which were minted.
They were presented to current cadets, ex-members and their families at a ceremony at the Yarmouth Armouries on Nov. 10.
“For us, his family, being able to be part of something like this so close to Remembrance Day, it just ensures that he’s not forgotten,” Tina Smith, Taylor’s mother, told CBC News.