A 'Remembrance Ceremony' held Tuesday on Fort Wainwright honored the 30th anniversary of a Canadian C-130 aircraft that crashed while arriving for a joint exercise with the United States, back in January of 1989.
On January 29, 1989 a Canadian aircraft landing in thick ice fog and temperatures of 60 degrees below zero crashed just before the runway at Fort Wainwright, resulting in nine deaths of Canadian Soldiers. Representatives from both countries gathered to mark the thirtieth anniversary of this tragic event.
One of the survivors of the crash attended the ceremony, this visit being his first time back to the site since the crash.
"We serve the memories of those who lost their lives here, and the fact we walked the grounds and have an opportunity to read their names and mention their names and talk about them, learn lessons from those losses. To me this provides closure to a certain degree, myself, and kind of puts into context and perspective on a number of things. I have been reflecting on and frankly do reflect on every day," said Jorgensen.
His right leg was injured during the crash, so he mentioned during his remarks that he remembers the crash every day when he steps on his right foot. Jorgensen says being able to meet and thank some of the hospital employees and those from Fairbanks who helped him after the crash was the highlight of his visit.
Dusty Finley from US Army Alaska says the arctic climate brings together these two countries - Canada and the United States, maintaining a close ally relationship.
"Anything that happens in the arctic is a joint effort, is a combined effort, between organizations between countries. Nobody goes it alone and we rely upon each other for mission success, and this is a good example of that," said Finley.
Canadian and American traditions were tied in throughout the ceremony, including playing both national anthems, reading a poem and playing the Taps and Canada's version of the Rouse.
The ceremony marked the start of this year's 'Extreme Cold Weather Arctic Symposium,' which is three days of training and education focused on preparing soldiers to operate in extreme cold weather.