Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

April 24, 2012 15:45 ET

Minister Steven Blaney Chooses Powerful Portrait Depicting Afghanistan Ramp Ceremony

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2012) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced he has selected a heart-wrenching painting by Corporal Joel Green to hang in his office on Parliament Hill. The Minister invited Cpl. Green to witness the installation this morning of the artist's powerful ramp ceremony portrait.

Entitled Slow March, the painting features four members of the Canadian Armed Forces carrying the casket of a fallen signal operator from Cpl. Green's unit, during a ramp ceremony in Afghanistan in 2007.

"Corporal Joel Green's portrait is a remarkable painting that captures, in the faces of just four soldiers, all the emotions we feel as Canadians when we watch one of our fallen heroes brought back home," said Minister Blaney. "This painting conveys the ultimate sacrifice of our men and women in ways that mere words could never express."

"It is a great personal honour to have the Minister of Veterans Affairs choose one of my works, knowing that every time someone visits the Minister's office, they will be reminded of the terrible price we've paid to defend our shared way of life," Cpl. Green said. "But the most important thing is that this is a tribute to all the men and women who have ever chosen to serve our country."

Cpl. Green said he was inspired to paint the ramp ceremony after experiencing a "deep emotional response" to the look on the face of his good friend Private Daryl Janssen, who helped to carry Cpl. Matthew McCully's casket. Cpl. McCully was killed when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in May 2007.

"I mainly painted this for our common friends, for Cpl. McCully's friends and their ability to soldier on and hold it together despite their inner turmoil," Cpl Green said. "It really struck a chord with me and I was very proud of them."

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs