It has been eight years since Canada has been engaged against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
During that time, Canadian news stations have routinely broadcast the national mourning of each and every returned soldier who gave his life or her life. As of this blog post, that means 150 repatriation scenes have played out before Canadians.
Sometimes the families assembled at the Trenton air base stand stoically as their loved one emerges from the airplane in a flag-draped coffin. Most often, the sight of the coffin causes the family members to buckle under the weight of the truth now set before them.
As I watched the news last week, it really struck me when the family of Sgt James MacNeil crumpled in pain amongst the others standing respectfully to attention.
Having dismounted from his armoured vehicle, MacNeil stepped on an improvised explosive device.
Sgt MacNeil was the 148th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan.
CLICK HERE to watch the video clip of Sgt James MacNeil's repatriation
What gave so many Canadians pause was the immediate pain felt by so many in Sgt MacNeil's home community of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
CLICK HERE to watch the video clip of Sgt MacNeil's funeral in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton is a tightly-knit island region. What happens to one Cape Bretoner happens to every Cape Bretoner.
At this grim milestone, the raw reaction of this soldier's family, friends and community is a reminder to all of us that each loss hurts.
Travis Cody says Sgt MacNeil has my eternal gratitude for his service and his sacrifice, as do all the men and women who serve and sacrifice in the name of duty.
Akelamalu says The people of Wootton Basset, here in England,seem to spend all their time lining the streets paying their respects to repatriated soldiers these days :(