HALIFAX – A procession honouring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds aerobatic team member killed in a recent plane crash began under blue skies in Halifax Sunday evening, as the remains of the young officer remembered for her bright smile arrived in her hometown.
Can’t say it much better pic.twitter.com/8Po4A2865M
— Dan Ahlstrand (@danahlstrand) May 24, 2020
Close friends and family members wearing black and the official Snowbirds colours of red and white laid flowers on Capt. Jennifer Casey’s casket during a homecoming ceremony on the tarmac near Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
If you would like to pay your respects as the motorcade passes, please adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. Capt Casey’s family encourages you to wear red and white (the Snowbird colours) in her honour.
— CF Snowbirds (@CFSnowbirds) May 23, 2020
The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash of a Snowbirds Tutor jet in a residential area of Kamloops, B.C., last Sunday.
The national aerobatics team was on a cross-country tour to boost residents’ spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
— General Jonathan Vance (@CDS_Canada_CEMD) May 24, 2020
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Governor General Julie Payette wore face masks as they stood at the airport ceremony along with dozens of military members.
Today, Capt Jennifer Casey came home to Halifax, where we honoured her memory. In this time of grief and sorrow, all Canadians stand with her family, loved ones & @CFSnowbirds colleagues during this difficult time. #WeWillRememberHer pic.twitter.com/RH6magDX4t
— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) May 25, 2020
Payette said the Snowbirds do a risky job and said she was proud to be in Halifax honouring Casey.
“It’s one of those tributes that are so important for the team, for the forces, and for us all,” she said.
“We need to pay this tribute, and I am just so proud to be here for Jenn Casey. The fact that this happened during Operation Inspiration, where they were going around cheering us Canadians [up] is even more touching.”
Capt. Jennifer Casey is welcomed home. Tonight on @CityNews @CityNewsMTL the procession honouring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds member killed while trying to bring joy to Canadians. pic.twitter.com/PLqJ41lh7B
— Caryn Ceolin (@carynceolin) May 24, 2020
With files from Lisa Steacy