City to honour fallen soldier

It has been almost five years since Cpt. Jonathan Snyder died in Afghanistan.

For many in the Penticton community, the loss remains fresh in their minds.

To continue to pay tribute to the former resident, the city council has approved honouring him with a sign in the 100 block of Main Street.

“I think it is important as we come up on the fifth anniversary of his death that we commemorate him for what he did for our country and give a contemporary face to the tragedies,” said Councillor Helena Konanz.

The matter appeared before the city council Monday night after Brian Hughes, a Snyder family friend, proposed to the Heritage & Museum Advisory Committee that a  road or park in the city be dedicated to Snyder who died in Afghanistan on June 7,  2008.

“He was a really nice guy and a great soldier,” said Hughes. “So this is a way to recognize him.”

Snyder, a graduate of Penticton Secondary School, was a member of the Army Cadets, who later joined the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry.

He was on active duty in Afghanistan when he fell into a deep, unmarked well and died on the night of June 7.

The suggestion to honour the young soldier with a sign, is not the first such recognition in the city.

The playground at Penticton Christian School was  also dedicated in his memory  in recent years.

It is Hughes’ hope that the city block be named Cpt. Jonathan Snyder Way, with the thought that sometime in the future, it leads into a new plaza dedicated to peace.

“There are probably lots of little towns across the country grappling with the same loss and wondering what was that for,” he said. “It’s all about guerilla warfare and insurgents now, so by thinking about this young man, we can think about what is Canada’s role in the world.”

It is also his intention that former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson be the one to dedicate the plaque.

As colonel- in- chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, she was heartbroken when Snyder died, said Hughes.

Councillor Judy Sentes said it was too early to determine where exactly a memorial to Snyder will be placed on that end of town.

But, she said, it remains absolutely important to recognize all the men and women who have given so much so Canadians can be safe.

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