U.S. Defense Attaché and Canadian Service and Sacrifice Initiative repatriate historic U.S. military pieces

“We have a good sized war to fight and we’d all better get busy doing all we can to get the job done – and soon.” – Colonel Allen G. Hart, February 7, 1943.

Canadian and American service members like Col. Hart have served and sacrificed alongside each other for hundreds of years, a tradition recognized by the Service and Sacrifice Initiative at a special repatriation of historic U.S. military pieces at U.S. Embassy Ottawa this week.

Canadian Armed Forces Members Honorary Colonel Kevin McCormick and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Motyl, founders of the Service and Sacrifice Initiative, presented U.S. Defense Attaché Colonel William J. Rowell with a series of 145 letters written by Col. Hart to various friends and family members, dated from May 8, 1925 to December 15, 1968. The letters detail Col. Hart’s time serving the U.S. military, most notably as a member of the “Jolly Rogers” Consolidated B-24 Liberator unit during World War II.

“From colonial times, into the 20th century with two World Wars, and continuing right up to the present, military conflicts have shaped the history of our two nations and forged an unprecedented bond between the military forces of the United States and Canada.” said Col. Rowell. “I was honored to meet the founders of the Service and Sacrifice initiative, Canadian Forces members, Honorary Colonel Kevin McCormick and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Motyl, who were joined by Mr. Marc Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickle Belt, and to be able to assist with the repatriation of the letters written by Colonel Hart.”

The Service and Sacrifice Initiative locates historic U.S. military pieces and repatriates them with family members, military museums, educational platforms and/or communities. Both Honorary Col. McCormick and Lt. Col. Motyl have donated their personal time and funds to support the project and have amassed, through auctions, private sales and other markets, hundreds of pieces of historic items representing all branches of the U.S. military and geographic regions across the nation.