West Mountain schoolyard memorial for Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan
By Mark Newman, News Staff
He will always be remembered by family and friends.
And now anyone who visits Westwood elementary school will know his name.
A memorial dedicated to the memory and sacrifice of Sergeant Shawn Allen Eades was unveiled last Friday on the front lawn of the west Mountain school that Eades attended from kindergarten to Grade 5 in the ‘80s.
The Hamilton-born Eades was one of three Canadian soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Aug. 20, 2008.
Eades, 33, was a combat engineer with 12 Field Squadron, 1 Combat Engineer Regiment from Edmonton and attached to the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
About 200 people, including family, friends, military officials, Westwood students and others were on hand for the special dedication ceremony in the school gymnasium.
A tearful Bev McGraw, Shawn’s mother, thanked everyone for attending the event and then turned her attention to the fallen soldier’s wife Lisa and his daughters, 10-year-old Breanna and seven-year-old Niya, who were seated a few steps away.
“Girls will always have an angel on your shoulder and he’ll always be watching over you,” McGraw said.
Chris Ecklund, local businessman and founder of the Canadian Heroes website, told the gathering that the family missed their WestJet connecting flight from Winnipeg to Hamilton and when the captain of the jet learned what had happened he turned the aircraft around and went back to Winnipeg to get them.
Ecklund said the other passengers on the jet applauded when the family boarded the aircraft.