(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.

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

The volume of visitors to White Rock’s Marine Drive over the weekend has led council to consider special measures this week. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock council rejects resident-only parking for waterfront

Other health and safety measures to be considered in a special meeting Wednesday

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Vehicles line up for the Greater Vancouver Drive-Thru Food Truck Festival at the Chilliwack Coliseum parking lot on March 27. The touring event comes to Cloverdale this weekend, April 24-25 (Photo: Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress)
Here are the food trucks coming to Cloverdale for a drive-thru festival this weekend

Nine trucks will be parked Saturday, nine Sunday during event at fairgrounds

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Parts of Surrey, North Delta to get AstraZeneca vaccines for people ages 40+

A total of seven communities in Surrey and Delta will be targeted

The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)
VIDEO: Surrey charity brings distanced concerts to care homes, with prop pink firetruck

Familiar tunes performed for seniors during pandemic-era ‘Heart for Music’ program

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

Most Read