Supporters come out to the Communications Rd. overpass on Hwy. 401 for the repatriation ceremony of fallen veteran and Wheatley native John Gallagher on November 20, 2015. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Service For Gallagher In Toronto

There is a public service in Toronto Tuesday for a Wheatley man who died fighting Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this month.

A notice on the Blenheim Community Funeral Home’s website says the service for John Robert Gallagher is at LiUNA Local 183, 1263 Wilson Ave. The service starts at 3pm and is anticipated to wrap up around 6pm.

On Friday, hundreds of Canadians lined overpasses along Hwy. 401 between Toronto and Communications Rd. in Chatham-Kent to watch as Gallagher’s body returned to his hometown of Blenheim in a procession along the Highway of Heros.

Hadi Elis of the Kurdish Community Centre in Toronto was among those who travelled in the procession. He believes it was an honour.

“It means he’s all of us,” says Hadi. “He decided to be with us and now it’s our turn that we are with him.”

Elis also says it’s up to the West to save Kurds in Syria and Iraq.

“They should start seeing the real problem, especially countries like Turkey, behind the oppression against Kurdish people. Then NATO and the USA must have some clear policies regarding how to do for the Kurdish people.”

Sinam Mohamed, a Kurd living in Canada says Gallagher fought and died for a better future in Syria.

“We are fighting for the democracy in the Middle East. We are fighting for the value of humanity, for gender equality.”

Gallagher’s death was reported November 4 by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.