Community unites to remember fallen Morinville soldier

Rolls of yellow ribbon stand next to a photo of fallen soldier and Morinville resident Master Corporal Byron Greff. Organizers are encouraging the community to mark trees and poles to remember the fallen soldier, father and local hockey coach. – Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Yellow ribbons will soon dot the community, silent tributes to Master Corporal Byron Greff, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan Oct. 29. Although words of grief have been expressed throughout the country and Greff is being remembered as a soldier, a husband and a father, fewer seem aware that Greff lived with his family in Morinville where he coached minor hockey.

For Morinville resident Kerry Knight, there was a strong desire to make sure the community was aware the fallen soldier not only lived here but was an active part of the community. Knight rapidly mobilized a campaign Wednesday to not only raise awareness of Greff’s Morinville connection, but to rally his community together to show their sympathy and offer some support to the family.

“His service is in Lacombe; they’re originally from Lacombe, and it’s reported that he was Edmonton based and everything,” Knight explained. “We just really felt some people might not know, and we just wanted his family to know we are aware and that we support them.”

Knight said she feels there is never enough a community can do in tragic circumstance like Greff’s tragic death, but she felt compelled to do something to unite the community to recognize his passing. “Especially because of this time of year being Remembrance Day, and especially for what he has done for us,” Knight said.

The Morinville resident gained the support of Maurice Chevalier from Home Hardware. The local business is donating rolls of yellow ribbon, which will be made available for a donation of $2.50. Proceeds from ribbon sales will be donated to Master Corporal Greff’s family, either through a trust fund or charity of their choice.

Other local businesses and the Town of Morinville quickly jumped on board to make the ribbon available at their locations. Ribbon will be available for purchase at Home Hardware, Tim Hortons, Sobeys, and the Town of Morinville offices at the Parish Hall. Additionally, Knight said all Morinville schools have been contacted and she is anticipating participation from students in helping to tie ribbon on trees throughout the community. Sturgeon Hockey Club has asked their teams to go out together and distribute ribbon around town.

We would like as many trees and light posts as possible in our community to be adorned with yellow ribbon to recognize Byron’s service and sacrifice for our country and to show our support to his family upon their return home,” Knight said.

Master Corporal Greff was one of 17 killed in the suicide bomber attack which stuck an International security Assistance Force (ISAF) vehicle at approximately 11:30 a.m. Kandahar time Oct. 29.

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  1. The yellow ribbons are everywhere. Great job to those of you who donated your time to put them up.

  2. The Town of Morinville invites all residents and visitors to sign a book of condolence for Master Corporal Greff. The book is located in our temporary location (basement of Parish Hall, 10010 – 101 Ave.), and will be forwarded to his family at the end of November.

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