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U.S. awards medals to Canadian soldiers


Well-Known TRIBEr
U.S. awards medals to Canadian soldiers
Last Updated Tue, 09 Dec 2003 9:56:22
EDMONTON - Thirty Canadian soldiers received Bronze Star medals from the United States for bravery and meritorious service in Afghanistan during a ceremony in front of 700 troops.

The families of four Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan accepted the medals. Pte. Richard Green, Pte. Nathan Smith, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer and Sgt. Marc Leger were killed in April 2002 when a U.S. jet dropped a bomb on them during training exercises. The American pilots say they believed they were under attack.

U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci presented the medals – a five-pointed star hanging from a red, white and blue ribbon – during the ceremony in Edmonton.

"No piece of cloth or framed citation can replace your husbands and sons," said Cellucci.

Twenty-six other soldiers from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group also received the medals, which are presented to troops who face enemy fire.

"The soldiers of this battalion proved to the world, that despite what you may read in academic reports, the Canadian army is made up of world-class soldiers," said Cellucci.

Maj. Rodney Keller says he's proud to wear the award.

"It signifies a sort of brotherhood and that we were in this place together and living through the same conditions," said Keller.

Marley Leger, whose husband Marc died in the bombing, says she's grateful for the acknowledgement.

"The medal, to me, represents Marc's ultimate sacrifice," said Leger. "He died fighting for what we believe in. I don't think you can get any braver than that."

Other family members, including Paul Dyer, who lost his son Ainsworth, left the ceremony saying it meant little to them.

"It doesn't change anything. My son is under the earth," said Dyer.
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