Updated: Jan 10
On August 17, 2019 a special ceremony took place in Ottawa, Canada, to re-dedicate a cenotaph that was designed and built by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. This cenotaph has become an important memorial for the families of the fallen as well as those Canadians who served in Afghanistan. Here, lost lives can be remembered and mourned, comradeship and courage recalled, hopes and dreams reflected upon. By sharing our stories and memories, we honour the enduring legacies of others.
Corporal Shane Keating is 1 of the one-hundred-fifty-eight soldiers who died while serving on a mission in Afghanistan.
Below, is a passage written by Keating’s brother-in-law, Gavin Logan. In sharing this, I hope to give a small glimpse of the personality behind the picture.
Thirteen years ago, my brother-in-law, Corporal Shane Keating was killed by a suicide bomber in the Panjwaii District of Afghanistan.
He was hilarious. He was kind. He was welcoming. He wanted to go to Afghanistan to help the people. He was not what is often associated with our stereotypical image of a soldier. In the short time I knew him, he shared with me many laughs, good discussions, and a few too many rye and cokes.
Once, he and I were watching "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (my favourite film). When the time came and Spock sacrificed himself for the sake of his ship with the words "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one." Shane looked at me and then said "That. That's what it's all about."
He didn't say anything else. And only 3 months later, he was killed, his body instinctively sacrificed to protect the school children to whom only minutes before he and his fellow soldiers were handing out school supplies and treats.
Meghan, Judy, Eireann, Ken and all the Keating clan miss him every day.
As hard as it is, I think Shane would be proud of his achievements and that his death perhaps saved a few children's lives.
"That. That's what it's all about."
RIP, Shane Keating