Thursday, October 07, 2004

Down to the Sea in Ships

It's a sad day aboard HMCS Chicoutimi, in Halifax, and in all of Canada. There is nothing worse in the life of an army unit, air force squadron, or ship than losing a mate. I've been there many times as a mate and, thankfully, only once as a commander. It sucks beyond belief, and my worst moment was giving the widow of a fighter pilot the flag from his coffin.....on her birthday.

Today, Canada mourns the loss of Lieutenant (N) Chris Saunders and prays for the safe return of his ship and the rest of its crew. There will be much written and said about the Upholder Class submarines; and much of it will be emotional. There will be much criticism of the Liberal government and its negligence and irresponsibility; and it will be justified. And nothing will change. Rather than get into that now, I'd just like to offer the following passage in memory of a loyal serviceman who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."
Psalms, 107:23-30, KJV


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