Touching ceremony for soldier from Penticton

Distinguished group gathered in Penticton to honour Captain Jonathan Snyder on the fifth anniversary of his death in Afghanistan.

David Snyder wipes away a tear during the unveiling ceremony of a monument in memory of his son Jonathan Snyder who died in Afghanistan in 2008. Other members of the family included brother Adam (left) and mother Anne (centre). The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson (right and top right) was the special guest at the event at the Lakeside Resort.

David Snyder wipes away a tear during the unveiling ceremony of a monument in memory of his son Jonathan Snyder who died in Afghanistan in 2008. Other members of the family included brother Adam (left) and mother Anne (centre). The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson (right and top right) was the special guest at the event at the Lakeside Resort.

It was a distinguished group that gathered on the shores of  Okanagan Lake Tuesday to honour Captain Jonathan Snyder on the fifth anniversary of his death in Afghanistan.

Adrienne Clarkson, former governor general of Canada and colonel-in-chief of Snyder’s regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, topped the speaker’s list and had the honour of unveiling a new monument, placed prominently in front of the Lakeshore Hotel on what is now known as Jonathan Snyder walk.

“We will always be proud of Jonathan Snyder, we will always be happy to think that he came from this beautiful place, that he had his education here,” said Clarkson, speaking for the PPCLI, and adding that they are happy to see that the people of Penticton rallied to create this permanent memorial.

“This is the person who came from this place and who represented you in a place of horror and terror,” she said, recounting the many good works done by the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, including protecting human rights and bringing education to many who never had access before.”

But Clarkson was far from alone in remembering Snyder. The crowd of more than 100 included Snyder’s father David, brother Adam, mother Ann and his fiancée Megan Stewart.

“He never failed to make people laugh, and he always enjoyed life to its fullest. Jon never did anything without a purpose and without the utmost commitment to the task,” said Stewart, adding that was true not only of his military career, but his personal life as well.

“I hope this allows everyone to remember Jon for his military accomplishments, but also to remember the incredible person he was and how much he enriched the lives of everyone he knew,” said Stewart.

Sgt. Christopher Horan, a fellow Pentictonite and PPCLI comrade, added his memories of Snyder in the military.

“I first met Jonathan in army cadets … that’s about 20 years ago now,” said Horan, who ran into Snyder when he first entered the military; they were both in the same facility, Horan beginning basic training and Snyder a couple of weeks into his officer training.

“I bumped into him here and there throughout my training,” said Horan. Eventually, he ran into Snyder again, when Snyder was introduced as the newest officer of PPLI and Horan’s platoon commander.

“It can be very difficult for a young officer to come to a new platoon and fit in,” said Horan, adding that he made plans to quietly support Snyder from behind the scenes. “It turned out that was completely unnecessary. He had absolutely no trouble fitting into his new platoon very quickly.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Bill Fletcher, who was Snyder’s company commander in 2006, during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, had similar memories.

“I believe what made Jon such a great soldier and a great leader was precisely because he was such a great person,” said Fletcher. “Jon was larger than life and there were no half-measures for him, and it forced everyone, very early on, to take stock of this young officer.”

The memorial was made possible through the work of Rotarian Brian Hughes, though he pointed out it couldn’t have happened without community support, thanking David and Craig Prystay of Lakeside Resort for donating the space and the walkway, architect Cal Meiklejohn, Frank Darin of Sherwood Trophies and Matt Kenyon of Greyback Construction.

“This memorial was built simply because it was the right thing to do,” said Hughes. “This memorial to Jonathan Snyder is one of the most amazing projects I have ever been a part of. Through Jonathan’s memory we discovered the most powerful essence of humanity.”

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Fiery crash on the Okanagan Connector between two semis. (Facebook)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Turn out is high in advance voting for the Penticton by election taking place Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Screen shot)
Over 2,500 already voted in Penticton by-election

General voting day is Saturday, June 19

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Lady Dia, pictured with her son Glory, is a Kelowna artist. She recently received $10,000 in funding for her podcast MoM:ents. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Lady Dia selected as City of Kelowna’s artist in residence

Dia will release a project designed to discuss and shape the future of a more inclusive Kelowna

Birch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

Most Read