Deadly GDF helicopter crash: Sunday declared a National Day of Prayer & Reflection

President Dr Irfaan Ali

As the nation continues to mourn the death of the five servicemen who perished after a Guyana Defence Force Bell 412 helicopter crashed, President Dr Irfaan Ali has announced that Sunday will be a Day of Prayer and Reflection.
In his announcement on Friday, the Head of State, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, called on all religious organisations across the nation to join hands in dedicating Sunday as a Day of Prayer and Reflection. He said the death of the servicemen has shaken the nation to its core.
“Let us unite in spirit to honour the memory of our fallen heroes and provide comfort to those who are now crestfallen due to this unforeseen and tragic event,” he said, adding that it is in moments like these that “we must we find strength in unity, solace in each other, and hope in our shared humanism.”
He added that now is the time for the country to draw strength from one another, to share the burden of sorrow, and to collectively pray for the victims, their grieving families, and for the swift recovery of the survivors of the horrific helicopter crash.
This Day of Prayer and Reflection, he said, is an opportunity for the country’s diverse religious communities to come together, to offer prayers for the departed souls, pointing out that it is also a time reflect on the sacrifices made by the brave men in service to the nation and express gratitude for their dedication to duty.
“May this Day of Prayer and Reflection serve as a balm of healing and compassion. Together, let us uplift each other in spirit, and may our collective prayers bring comfort to the grieving hearts and strength to those who continue to endure the aftermath of this devastating helicopter crash. May the Creator of the Universe keep us strong and protect us and our Motherland,” the President said.
Brigadier (Rtd) Gary Beaton, Colonel Michael Shahoud, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Lieutenant Colonel Shaun Welcome and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan all died after the helicopter crash on Wednesday in the mountains of Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
The two soldiers, Lieutenant Andio Crawford and Corporal Dwayne Jackson, survived the crash.