Kamloops Legion holding tribute ceremony for Snowbirds pilots - InfoNews

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Kamloops Legion holding tribute ceremony for Snowbirds pilots

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds over Penticton.
May 19, 2020 - 12:59 PM

The Kamloops branches of the Royal Canadian Legion and the RCAF Association are holding a tribute ceremony to honour the Snowbirds captain who died in a crash in Kamloops May 17.

Shortly after 11 a.m. May 21, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52 Kamloops and 886 Wing (Overlander) RCAF Association will hold a tribute ceremony to honour Capt. Jennifer Casey and to support the recovery of Capt. Richard MacDougall and for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

"Anytime there's a military death on duty it affects the people that are members of the Legion, but when it hits this close to home that's even more so," former president of the Kamloops Legion Craig Thomson told iNFOnews. "It affects our people, it shocks them, it brings back memories for some, some not too good memories, it does affect us, as it affected the entire community."

On May 17, 2020, shortly after take-off from Kamloops Airport, Capt. Casey ejected from the Snowbirds plane she was in before it crashed into a nearby neighbourhood. Capt. Casey did not survive and the aircraft’s pilot, Captain Rich MacDougall survived with non-life threatening injuries.

"The fact that we have a soldier die on duty and in particular in our town in such a tragic circumstance it really hits below the belt," Thomson said. "It was really really gut-wrenching, particularly coming on the heels of the helicopter crash on the coast of Greece, where we lost six Canadian forces members. To have an action like this in our town so close is hard, it's devastating."

The ceremony will be held at the Kamloops Airport, at the location of the CF-5 plane located at the roundabout.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony which will include the laying of wreaths and a speech by Dr. Wendy McKenzie, the president of 886 (Overlander) Wing of the RCAF Association. Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod will also speak, along with Mayor of Kamloops Ken Christian and MLAs Peter Milobar, and Todd Stone.

The Legion asks people to ensure safe physical distancing and encourages members to wear masks if they prefer.

For more Snowbirds stories go here.

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