Capt. Jenn Casey is seen in this undated handout photo from the Royal Canadian Air Force Twitter page. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Twitter-@RCAF_ARC)

The memory of Jenn Casey is honoured from coast to coast

The people of Halifax turned out Sunday to honour one of their own–Canadian Forces Snowbirds team member Jenn Casey who died last weekend when the jet she was in went down seconds after takeoff in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Captain Casey, who was 35, was a military public relations officer serving with the aerobatics team that was on a cross-country tour to boost Canadians’ spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her remains arrived home from B.C. at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130J Hercules around 5 p.m local time on Sunday.

The body of Capt. Jenn Casey of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds was returned to Halifax and honoured with a special motorcade through the streets of her hometown on Sunday. (CBC News)

She was met by a military honour guard and carried by nine uniformed members to a hearse that was waiting on the tarmac.

Among those waiting were Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Governor General Julie Payette.

As a bagpiper played, close friends and family members wearing black and the official Snowbirds colours of red and white laid flowers on Capt. Casey’s casket during the homecoming ceremony.

A police-escorted motorcade then left the Halifax airport to transport Casey’s remains on a loop through the north end of the city to a local funeral home.

The military continues to investigate the crash, and the Snowbirds’ tour was immediately suspended.

The unit’s commanding officer, Lt.-Col. Mike French, says what caused the crash won’t be known for weeks or months. 

A tribute ceremony to honour Capt. Jenn Casey at the Kamloops Airport Thursday May 21, 2020. Capt. Casey, the Snowbirds public affairs officer, died after the Snowbirds jet she was in crashed shortly after takeoff. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett)

On Thursday, thousands turned out online to pay tribute to Capt. Casey and pilot Richard MacDougall, 34, who remains in hospital with “serious but non-life-threatening” injuries.

A limited number of mostly first responders and Canadian Forces members attended the ceremony in person, hosted by the Kamloops branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.  

Capt MacDougall was honoured with a drum circle outside the Kamloops hospital, where he is recovering. 

With files from CBC News (Andrea Ross, Courtney Dixon),  RCI (Marc Montgomery), The Canadian Press (Holly McKenie-Sutter)

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