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Two Laurier alumni awarded Medal of Bravery
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Two Laurier alumni have been awarded one of Canada’s highest honours, the Medal of Bravery, by Governor General David Johnston for their efforts to save a fellow resident during a fire at Waterloo College Hall in April, 2009.
The medals were awarded to Kyle Walker and Matthew Crombeen during a ceremony Friday at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Walker and Crombeen were both student dons at Waterloo College Hall. On April 14, 2009, they were on their way to check on a fellow student who was reportedly in distress. The citation for their Medals of Bravery states: “As they approached the student’s room, they saw smoke coming out from beneath his door. Messrs. Walker and Crombeen went through an adjoining bathroom to reach the victim, who was covered in flames. They put out the fire and led the severely burnt young man outside to wait for the ambulance. Despite their efforts, the victim did not survive.”
Walker (BA ‘011) now works as the director of member services for Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union. Crombeen (BSc ‘011) is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia.
The following is an excerpt from the remarks given Friday by Governor General David Johnston to those receiving an award at the Decorations for Bravery ceremony:
“Each of you faced some form of danger head on — from others, from the environment, from a circumstance in which you found yourselves. Yet each of you rose to the occasion, showing that even the smallest act of good can overcome the most desperate of situations.
“It is that innate goodness that has bound together the many and varied recipients of this award throughout its more than 40-year history.
“And although we mourn the loss of those who could not be saved and those who lost their own lives in the act of saving others, we can take comfort in the knowledge that in the end, they were caring for someone or being cared for. No matter what, they were not alone.
“In other words, from goodness flowed compassion—a willingness and a need to help others, to think solely of another’s life and how precious that life is to us all.”