Recently on this blog I posted about Murrary Marshall and a tribute jersey he had made for his son Sapper Steven Marshall who was killed in Afghanistan. A few days later the Calgary Metro newspaper ran a story on Murray and what he was doing to keep Steven's memory alive. I've know Murray about a year now and he wants his son to never just be a number or ever forgotten tonight I had a chance to share in keeping his memory alive.
February 7Th, 2011 The Chicago Blackhawks were in town to play the Calgary Flames and I was lucky enough to obtain tickets. I contacted Murrary and told him I would be honoured to wear this at the game. Anyone who knows me knows of my love for the Toronto Maple Leafs but I never gave this a second thought and for tonight I was a Calgary Flames fan.
My night at the Saddledome started while waiting for a friend to meet me, so I had about 30 minutes to waste. In that thirty minutes I had about eight people come over and say that they saw the jersey in the paper and wanted to send along their condolences to Murrary. I was then approached by a young guy about 24 years old who told me he worked with Steven at the Chinook Center mall and wanted a picture with the jersey and told me to thank Murrary for what he is doing with Stevens Jersey.
Then came a very emotional moment for me, the singing of O'Canada, I looked around at people holding their hats on their hearts, listening to everyone sing along and was probably one of the proudest moments of my life. During the intermission I went out to get some food and was stopped by an older man who asked me about the jersey as he said he had know idea who #9 Marshall was and didn't remember him playing for the Flames I told him the story and how Steven was very involved in Minor hockey in Calgary and he then got very emotional and thought it was an amazing idea.
The jersey then made its way with some friends to a karaoke bar where I had two friends of mine come up and ask instantly about it, one of which had served 8 years with the military in Bosnia and was also taken back by the tribute. We then read all the comments that had been written on a Flames flag that flew over the base in Kandahar. At the time most of the guys there were from Ontario so there was some sarcastic comments from Leafs fans which we laughed and also some Canucks fans.
I am very thankful that I had a night with the jersey to pay my respects so Steven and help keep his memory alive. To Murrary Marshall, Thank You for giving me the honour of being the first person to wear this jersey out in public, it was a true honour and something I will never forget.