My sincerest and humblest congratulations to my friend and former colleague, Ian Wheeler, on being awarded the Governor General of Canada Award for Bravery, related to the rescue of Robert Decker on that horrible, awful day in March, 2009.
Click here for the CBC story.
I have told many people since that day that Ian was exactly the right person to be there. I spoke to Robert Decker on the one year anniversary; he was so incredibly gracious and remarkable. It's no coincidence that an equally gracious, remarkable and talented man was involved in his rescue. I am so thrilled that now, the whole country will know this, too.
Ian posted on Facebook his thanks to those who congratulated him, while noting that it is a bittersweet day. Of course it is... he lost two colleagues that day - the helicopter crew - and many others he knew who travelled back and forth to the Grand Banks for years. The pride one must feel on a job well done, under those circumstances, must be difficult to bear, knowing that there was so much loss and sadness that day as well.
All I can do is hope that Ian can feel the pride he should on having done what he did that day, while at the same time, I say a little prayer that the burden of not being able to do more does not weigh heavily on him. God had His own plans for that day.
Congratulations, Ian. I am proud to call you a friend.