The South African Air Force (SAAF) held its first memorial service to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice at Bayes Hill outside Pretoria since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Sunday service, SAAF pastor Melanie Smit said it was very special to be able to have a gathering to honor members again. She said she has lost many members and several other colleagues to the virus over the past two years. SAAF did not provide the number of people lost to COVID-19.
So far, South Africa has recorded over 100,000 deaths and more than 3.8 million cases.
Smit said this was an opportunity to honor the families who made it possible for members to serve their country with dedication, dedication and loyalty.
“We are here to support each other as a family to honor our fallen heroes, and we are here to support the families of those who lost their lives.”
In 2021, the Aviation Brotherhood lost two experienced and retired SAAF pilots (General Des Barker and Colonel Rama Iyer) in a light plane crash at Swatkop Air Base in Pretoria. They attempted to land the SAAF Museum’s iconic Patchen Explorer reconnaissance aircraft at the base.
The museum’s historic flight operates a collection of classic military aircraft, including the Alouette llll helicopter, which dropped rose petals over the Air Force Memorial in its last tribute to service.
As more events are allowed to resume due to relaxed COVID regulations, SAAFA President Colonel Mike Louw observed how important it is for veterans to gather in person to pay tribute to their colleagues. He said, “As veterans are social animals, they have not been able to attend a place to commemorate the fallen comrades and victims for three years since the last memorial service was held in May 2019.” Even in the last three years. It was very heartbreaking. And we are still meeting our former colleagues who are with us.”
The monument was built at a time when armed conflicts between Russia and Ukraine were making headlines. Louw emphasized the need to remember the soldiers who paid the highest price. he said After conflict, they become good friends. We had that experience with Angola. Our veterans returned to Angola to meet their former enemies.”
Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, commander of the Air Force, prepared the first wreath. It is the first memorial service since his inauguration in June last year.
Representatives of the US Forces Korea (USFK) from South Korea, Burkina Faso, and Brazil, and the Veterans Association of South Africa and SAAFA also placed wreaths.
South African Air Force Hero Remembers After Two Years Break – SABC News
Source link South African Air Force Hero Remembers After Two Years Break – SABC News