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N.S. soldier who died in Afghanistan to be honoured by navy ship named for his hometown

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When the captain and crew from HMCS Glace Bay visit the town the navy ship is named for this weekend, they will arrive with a special honour in memory of a Glace Bay, N.S., soldier.

Sgt. Jimmy MacNeil was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on June 21, 2010.

On Saturday, his father and other family members will be at the Branch 3 Royal Canadian Legion where the officers' mess onboard the navy ship will be named in MacNeil's memory.

"It just feels like yesterday,” said Jimmy MacNeil Sr., of his son’s death. “I go up the graveyard every morning, 6:30, and I'm back out there in the evening every day."

Sgt. MacNeil has been well-remembered not only by his family, but by his whole community. His death left a permanent mark on his hometown.

"He was a soldier's soldier, that's right. That's a good way to put it,” said Sheldon MacNeil, second vice-president of the Branch 3 Legion. "(Sometimes peoples’ contributions) and in this case, this young man gave his life, are slowly forgotten about. I hope that this is not the case. I hope that this will be a thing that will never be forgotten."

Jimmy MacNeil Sr. is pictured. (Source: Ryan MacDonald/CTV News Atlantic)

Thursday marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

While the Second World War and the war in Afghanistan were generations apart, the day was still a poignant one for Jimmy MacNeil Sr.

"He meant so much to me, eh? I never ever had a problem with him growing up. He was that good of a kid,” he said.

The dedication ceremony at the Branch 3 Legion is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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