Home Letters Remember their names in this dark December
For generations to come, the people of this land, from across all 83,000 square miles, will remember their names: Brigadier Gary Beaton, Col. Michael Shahoud, Lt. Col. Michael Charles, Lt. Col. Sean Welcome, Sgt. Jason Khan. Their honour, their courage, their service; and, most of all, their indomitable fighting spirit to hold dear and defend this country shall live on.
They, with their brothers: Lt. Andio Crawford and Cpl. Dwayne Jackson, were on a mission at Arau, the same mountain village where His Excellency President Mohamed Irfaan Ali had hoisted the Golden Arrowhead exactly two weeks before. These fallen heroes have left us, but will never be gone forever.
To the families of these men: we know that no words, no poetry, no song will or can extinguish the pain, the anguish, the suffering, or the long and lonely days and nights to come. Yet, by now you know that you are not alone, because this nation stands with you in this dark December. Yes, the nation stands shoulder-to-shoulder, heads held high, in honour of these brave souls who gave their lives so others can live with security, peace, and dignity.
It is only fitting that, in this moment of national grief, I end with the words of President Ali, words that have moved this nation to tears. Said the President: “I knew each of these individuals personally, and my respect for them was boundless. They were not just military men; they were guardians of our sovereignty, defenders of our values, and champions of our freedom.”
Having directly observed President Ali’s interaction with those in uniform along the border communities at Mabaruma, Eteringbang and Kikan on November 23-24, I can say unequivocally that the families of our fallen heroes will never be left alone.
I would like to send sincere condolences to the families of Brigadier Gary Beaton, Col. Michael Shahoud, Lt. Col. Michael Charles, Lt. Col. Sean Welcome and Sgt. Jason Khan. I had the honour and privilege of meeting Col. Shahoud and Lt. Col. Michael Charles, and being with them in the hinterland just two weeks ago. Rest, rest gently, until we meet again!
Dr Randy Persaud