May 31, 2015 - 4:25pmUpdated: May 31, 2015 - 5:31pm
A plaque for Cpl. Shane Keating put up in Dalmeny park. Kelly Malone, News Talk Radio
Children ran, swung, and laughed in the park Sunday afternoon as family members of a fallen soldier unveiled a memorial and plaque in Dalmeny.
The Dalmeny Spray and Play park was dedicated to Cpl. Shane Keating, a soldier who spent his childhood running around on the same grass.
"It's definitely a full circle moment. We grew up in this town and we grew up playing right here," Shane's sister Meghan Keating, said.
"He stood up for values like freedom and here we are out here being free, having fun. It's wonderful."
Meghan Keating points to where she and Shane would play as children. Kelly Malone/ News Talk Radio
Shane had already served two tours in Bosnia when he was stationed in Afghanistan. On September 18th 2006, Shane was passing out treats to school children in the Panjwayi district when he was killed by a suicide bomber on a bicycle. He was only 30-years-old.
His kindness, courage, and valour were remembered at the dedication, but Meghan said his legacy will always be as a protector.
"He was my big brother so that will never change. He was always my protector and he did that naturally without even thinking," she said. "But he wasn't just my protector, it turns out after hearing all these other stories, that he was really out there for everybody. That's his legacy to me."
Bagpipes play before a moment of silence at the park dedication in Dalmeny. Kelly Malone/News Talk Radio
Although Shane had not lived in Dalmeny for a few years at the time of his death, the community mourned the slain soldier deeply. The connection with Shane was clear as hundreds of community members turned out to honour him on Sunday.
"All of the food that we had after the funeral was all from people in Dalmeny helping us out," Meghan said. "I don't know necessarily the why, but there is a definite strong connection and strong bond between the people of Dalmeny and us and Shane."
Meghan said there was never a funeral in Dalmeny for her brother, so the dedication would help with healing and understanding.
"This is kind of a nice memorial just for the town of Dalmeny to have a bit of closure," she said. "This day means a lot to a lot of people."