Hiking trail serves as lasting legacy for fallen Canadian soldiers

A Port aux Basques, Newfoundland man continues to combine his love of the outdoors with his respect for fallen soldiers.

Colin Seymour is ready to place 158 yellow ribbons – one for each Canadian soldier who lost their life in the war in Afghanistan – along the hiking trail leading to Mark Rock Mountain, just outside South Branch, where a monument honors Sgt. Craig Gillam of that community. Gillam died in Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2006. He was 40 years old.

When Seymour, his wife Cindy and family friend Donna Stuckless tried to hike the trail and visit the monument in August 2015, they found it had grown in so much they couldn’t get near the top of the mountain.

Seymour returned to the trail alone, determined to make his way to the monument. It would be his first of many trips.

“I picked my way up through the woods… originally, they’d put out (over 140) yellow ribbons to mark the trail,” he said, referring to the ribbons commemorating soldiers who had lost their lives in Afghanistan when the monument was first erected in Gillam’s memory. Remnants of those ribbons are still there, he said.

With the permission of Gillam’s family, Seymour has made a new wooden cross for the monument to replace the original one that had withered with time.

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