2019-03-13

Bridgewater continues remembrance of departed serviceman Cpl. Paul Davis

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>Retired Sgt. Jeremy Silver, left, and Jim Davis, father of the late Cpl. Paul James Davis, pictured at the monument and near the yellow ribbon.</p>
  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>The monument - and yellow ribbon - at Bridgewater Junior High School honouring the memory of the late Cpl. Paul James Davis.</p>

The Main Street of the South Shore continues honouring the memory of the Bridgewater serviceman killed 13 years ago during the Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan.

Five years ago a monument was installed outside the York Street school where Cpl. Paul James Davis was a student. Davis' father, Jim, along with town officials, military and Legion personnel and members of the school's student council were at the site for a ceremony to remember Paul who died March 2, 2006.

Bridgewater Junior High School student council members Luke Woodworth, Brandon Wentzell, Ethan Wah, Erin Broome, and Ava Livesey joined Jim in tying a yellow ribbon - a symbol of support for the troops - to a tree near the monument.

Paul served with the second battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based at Manitoba's CFB Shilo. Paul was deployed in January 2006 for a six-month tour, but the 28-year-old married father of two died when the armoured vehicle he was in collided with an Afghan taxi in March. A second Canadian soldier also died in the crash.

Pastor Paul Jensen, conducing the Bridgewater service, said those in uniform leave behind family friends, homes and communities to make a difference, serve Canada's interests abroad, and lay down their lives for others.

"We who are left behind have a responsibility never to forget the past sacrifices made by those who've given so much serving this nation," he said. "We must remember them."

On hand for the ceremony was retired Sgt. Jeremy Silver, 43, originally from Newcombville, Lunenburg County.

Silver spent 15 years in the army and was in the same company as his former comrade Paul Davis. His time with the armed forces finished in 2009 and he's dealing with post-traumatic stress.

Jim Davis acknowledged Silver's presence and could see the former soldier's pain. "He brought his injuries home," Jim said at one point during the ceremony.

Jensen said there's also a responsibility for those who enjoy, pray and work for peace and prosperity to serve those who've returned home with wounds of the mind, body and spirit.

Also killed in Afghanistan was Pte. Richard Green of Mill Cove who lost his life in 2002. The U.S. military accidentally bombed the area where Green and other soldiers were engaged in a night-time exercise, killing the 21 year old and three other Canadian soldiers.

Paul Davis was in the midst of switching branches of the military shortly before his death. He was making a change on his own, to become an air force mechanic. He decided to stay, as Jim told LighthouseNOW in 2011, and "finish my mission" before accepting the transfer.

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