Thousands tune in to watch Snowbirds ceremony in Kamloops, B.C.

Thousands gathered online to watch a ceremony in Kamloops, B.C., for fallen Snowbird Capt. Jennifer Casey on Thursday, according to organizers.

The ceremony was originally going to be a public service, but ended up being a closed event that was livestreamed because of coronavirus concerns.

The gathering, which took place just after 11 a.m., at Kamloops Airport, also honoured Capt. Richard MacDougall, who sustained serious injuries in the May 17 crash that resulted in Casey’s death.

The jet crashed into a home in the Brocklehurst neighbourhood of Kamloops. The two ejected before the jet crashed.

The ceremony was organized by Kamloops Branch 52 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Past branch president Craig Thomson told Radio NL News in Kamloops that approximately 90,000 watched the livestream.

The mood was somber at the memorial gathering, where people spoke and remembered Casey.

Among those who spoke was Kamloops mayor Ken Christian, who said the city will be building a memorial for the Snowbirds.

“At a time suitable, the City of Kamloops will create a memorial to recognize the contribution of the Snowbirds,” said Christian.

“They’re cherished Canadian icons that have been with us for 50 years and we will make an appropriate memorial to their service to this country.”

The ceremony also saw the singing of the national anthem, the laying of wreaths and other speakers showing support for the Snowbirds and the armed forces.

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