(Unsplash photo)

(Unsplash photo)

Frontline health workers deserve ‘medal of honour,’ says White Rock senior

Sacrifices made, risks taken during pandemic called ‘nothing short of heroic’

A White Rock senior is calling for the creation of a ‘Pandemic Medal of Honour,’ to recognize medical staff who have put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Griffin said he put the request in writing to federal Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, as well as to South Surrey-White Rock Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, last week.

“I’ve just been so conscious of what I think are heroic actions of frontline medical workers,” Griffin explained Monday (April 5), noting in particular those who have “had to gear up several times a day and go in and intubate or resuscitate people who are near death or mortally ill, and are risking their lives every time they do that.”

“That is nothing but sheer heroism and it deserves recognition,” he said.

READ MORE: Last year filled with ‘ups and downs’ for healthcare system, Surrey ER doctor says

Griffin, 72, compared the sacrifice to that made by those – such as his father – who fought in the world wars.

Griffin said his father received medals for his service as a member of the Royal Canadian Navy “dodging death while guarding convoys in the North Atlantic” during the Second World War, and described the work that healthcare personnel have been doing in the past year as no less courageous.

He said a Medal of Honour program, as with military medals, could recognize the different levels of risk, and that recipient selection should be both reverential and careful.

Recipients would have something to reflect on years after the pandemic passes, and the honour – not to be given out lightly, he noted – would likely also resonate outside the medical community, he added.

“I think it ennobles all of us to some degree to think that there are our neighbours and our friends among us who are that brave and that ready to sacrifice for us and for our society as a whole.

“I perhaps see the day where some of these people who are on the frontlines now… will look back and say, ‘I was there, we did that.’ And we can all say, ‘Wow.’”

Griffin said he would also support including specific mention of those same frontline workers at the next Remembrance Day service.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusHealthcareSurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service to begin public consultation late June, early July

Community input, chief constable says, ‘will occur’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read