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Sgt. Mark Gallgher Vocational School

Hammarskjold MedalGallagher, A Man of Peace

The dreams of late Sgt. Mark Gallagher for the country of Haiti will be continued by his family.

Gallagher, an RCMP media relations officer, was working in Haiti as part of a peacekeeping mission when he was killed by a massive earthquake in January.

A half year later, Gallagher's son Shane, 25, is providing support as Woodstock, New Brunswick and Canadian residents work to establish a trade school in Haiti in honour of his father. Gallagher's widow Lisa plans to volunteer at the school during her vacations.

"Shane is pleased to be a part of that project," Lisa said. "We would like to go over (to Haiti) as a family. I'm absolutely very supportive of the school in Haiti and it is something I want to see be successful. I'd like to do some teaching there."

Plans for the school rose out of the vast respect Sgt. Gallagher garnered in his years of service as a police officer in the Maritimes. That respect is national in nature, and his participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti was recently recognized in a ceremony in Ottawa.

The Gallagher family attended the ceremony honouring Gallagher and Supt. Doug Coates.

Coates, of Gatineau, Quebec, was the acting police commissioner for the United Nations mission in Haiti when he too was killed in the January earthquake.

The widows of Gallagher and Coates were presented with the United Nation's Dag Hammarskjold Medal at the ceremony.

The Dag Hammarskjold Medal is awarded to members of peacekeeping operations who lost their lives during service.

"The ceremony was wonderful," Lisa said. "There were a lot of very sincere people there talking about the work being done overseas. It was a beautiful ceremony."

Lisa said that she and her family were touched by the graciousness the RCMP showed them throughout their time in Ottawa.

"We're blessed in their support," Lisa said of the RCMP, who organized the family's travel arrangements.