Memorial plaque remembers three Comox Valley men

Watch Two of the men were members of the Canadian military killed in Croatia and Afghanistan while the third was killed in Iraq while working for Unicef.

The names of three Comox Valley men who were killed while serving Canada in different roles overseas have been memorialized at a local cairn.

A plaque that was recently stolen from the Sandwick Cairn has now been replaced with the three names on it and was unveiled Friday during a “No Stone Left Alone” event in Courtenay.

The parents of one of the men attended.

John and Betsy Klein-Beekman lost their son Chris in a horrific suicide bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003.

Chris Klein-Beekman was the program co-ordinator in Iraq for Unicef at the time and gave his life trying to help others.

His parents helped unveil the new plaque in Courtenay Friday bearing his name.

“I feel terrible really. He did so much good work there and then all of a sudden everything ended just like that,” said his father John.

The unveiling was part of a “No Stone Left Alone” ceremony which honours the sacrifice and service of Canada’s military by educating students and placing poppies on the headstones of veterans every November.

Andrew Eykelenboom is buried at a nearby cemetery in Courtenay. He was a military paramedic who on his last mission when he was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in August 2006.

His name is also on this plaque.

“It’s a tough time of the year but it’s a great time that we can remember,” said Eykelenboom family friend Pamela Jolin.

“It means a lot. It’s been 11 years now since Andrew passed,” said family friend Al Pullin.

The third name is Mark R. Isfeld who was on a peacekeeping mission in Croatia when he was killed while removing landmines in June 1994.

“To me, it’s huge because that gives proper respect to him and it gives individuality and it connects him to the valley,” said Brad Fairall who once served with Isfeld.

A memorial wreath was also laid at the Sandwick Cairn today.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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