Published on May 8, 2012
VICTORIA - When the earthquake ravaged Haiti in 2010 hundreds of thousands of lives were lost.
But for a Vancouver Island man, the horror of the tragedy struck close to home.
Within hours of the quake, Luc Coates learned his father had been killed in the disaster.
Last month the CFB Comox pilot visited Haiti for the first time.
Chilling memories of the disaster were everywhere.
His first stop was the former headquarters of UN Policing in Haiti. Once a bustling centre, it is now a shrine to a life lost.
Chief Superintendent Douglas Coates was working in the former headquarters and is one of two RCMP officers killed when the earthquake hit.
Sergeant Mark Gallagher was buried in the debris that was once his home.
Gallagher's daughter, Heather, joined Luc to Haiti to visit the places where their fathers' spent their final moments.
But for the grieving children, the trip is more about honouring their fathers' lives.
Their journey to Haiti is to celebrate the opening of the orphanage rebuilt by a team from Langford now dedicated to their fathers.
It is a place where the two men often spent their free time, helping to care for the children who live here.
Their children say the orphanage is a fitting legacy, and one they know their fathers would be proud of.
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