Navy ship pays tribute to Cape Breton soldier who died in Afghanistan

A sailor stands aboard HMCS Glace Bay is shown in Halifax on Monday, January 9, 2023. The crew of a Royal 春色直播 Navy ship are honouring the memory of a soldier from Cape Breton who died in Afghanistan nearly fourteen years ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

GLACE BAY, N.S. - The crew of a Halifax-based Royal 春色直播 Navy ship is formally honouring the memory of a soldier from Cape Breton who died in Afghanistan nearly 14 years ago.

Sgt. Jimmy MacNeil of Glace Bay, N.S., was killed by a roadside bomb on June 21, 2010 about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City.

In a lasting tribute, the chief and petty officer鈥檚 mess aboard H.M.C.S. Glace Bay is being renamed in memory of MacNeil.

The coastal defence vessel鈥檚 commanding officer, Lt.-Cmdr. Paul Morrison, said the tribute鈥檚 origins date back to Remembrance Day ceremonies held last fall in Glace Bay that were attended by the ship鈥檚 company.

Morrison said the crew noticed a car nearby that was vinyl wrapped with an image of MacNeil and after a few inquiries, they found out it belonged to the late soldier鈥檚 father, Jimmy MacNeil Sr.

鈥淲e are trying to find ways to build linkages with our namesake city of Glace Bay,鈥 said Morrison. 鈥溾淔or us it was a logical extension to try to find a way to incorporate Sgt. MacNeil鈥檚 memory 鈥 as we attempt to honour all of the service that鈥檚 happened through Glace Bay residents.鈥

The ship鈥檚 coxswain, Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Sinclair, was among several crewmembers who travelled to the Glace Bay Legion Saturday, where they marked the occasion with MacNeil鈥檚 father.

Sinclair said once the ship returns to Halifax, a commemorative plaque will be designed for the door of the mess.

鈥淚t will include a photo of Sgt. McNeil and a small write-up on his time in Afghanistan and service career,鈥 he said.

The 45-member crew of Glace Bay has spent the last two weeks training on Cape Breton鈥檚 Bras d鈥橭r Lake in preparation for a mid-July deployment to the Baltic Sea as part of a NATO mine countermeasures mission.

This report by 春色直播was first published June 8, 2024.

The 春色直播 Press. All rights reserved.

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