Father of dead Canadian soldier supports white poppy
Tim Goddard’s daughter, Capt. Nichola Goddard, is the highest ranking Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. She died in fighting in May.
In an interview for Canadian Television, her father, Tim Goddard, who grew up in Britain, said that Remembrance Day had always been marked in the Goddard family.
Relatives had fought all the way back to the battle of the Somme in WW1.
Recognising that red poppies only call for remembrance of those soldiers who died on one side of war, Mr Goddard said that Remembrance Day should be about remembering others who died too.
Mr Goddard said he remembered the white poppies while growing up in Britain and felt that they have their place on Remembrance Day.
His comments come at a time when the legitimacy of White Poppies is being debated both in Britain and in Canada.
“In Afghanistan, in many other conflict zones its not just soldiers who are killed, it’s not just Canadians who are killed” he told Canadian TV.
“I think that the white poppy symbolising peace and symbolising memories of civilian losses, that’s fine.”
Goddard and his wife Sally will lay a wreath during Remembrance Day ceremonies to honour their daughter.
The young artillery officer was killed directing fire at enemy positions near the front lines in the Afghan desert and was the 16th of 42 Canadian soldiers who have died in the conflict.
According to Canada’s Chronicle Herald, since her death, “Tim Goddard has emerged as an eloquent spokesman for other families grappling with both grief and pride.”
Goddard has chastised Prime Minister Stephen Harper for restricting media access to grieving families, and expressed hope for an end to the Afghan conflict so that Nichola’s death will not have been in vain.
“This time, obviously we’re remembering Nichola and the other 41 soldiers we’ve lost in Afghanistan, the one we’ve lost in Lebanon this summer. Peacekeepers or peacemakers, they’re all worthy of our respect” he told Canada’s Chronicle Herald.