The end of SHIRBRIG
On 30 June 2009 the moment had come to close the doors of SHIRBRIG. Needles to say there was a sad atmosphere among the SHIRBRIG staff, and also among the guests. Many already had reacted on the invitation; they thought it was a pity the decision to close down SHIRBRIG was taken. Especially since some of the contributing countries pledged their assistance with troops to UN for the forthcoming years, if needed. Not having these troops for SHIRBRIG was the most important reason to shut down SHIRBRIG. Political thinking is not the same as the military way of thinking. To many guests it was very strange to experience the death of SHIRBRIG at the same time that UN is trying to create a same kind of organization as SHIRBRIG in the UNHQ itself.
COMSHIRBRIG, Major General Kurt Mosgaard, speaks
SHIRBRIG was pleased that so many important and influential guests appeared, even though some high ranked guests had to cancel their visit to SHIRBRIG due to the very sad occasion on the burial of a Danish solder, killed in Afghanistan. In the SHIRBRIG commanders address to the guests this was mentioned and a minute of silence emphasized the feelings among the guests and SHIRBRIG members.
a minute of silence
One of the guests was ambassador Legwaila Joseph Legwaila who was the Secretary-Generalís Special Representative for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) during the time that SHIRBRIG was deployed in the area. In his speech he not only mentioned the accomplishments of SHIRBRIG but also the necessity for organizations as SHIRBRIG.
Ambassador Legwaila speaks
The ceremony was highlighted by the performances of the tambourkorps of the Royal Life Guard and also the spotless action of lowering the 16 National flags (and 2 UN flags) by the Signal Regiment from Jutland. All in all a very impressive ceremony.
UN flag and national flags are lowered
The official part was followed by an informal gathering, where all guests spoke with each other about what SHIRBRIG had meant for each and everyone.
Finally, after the last guest had left, all remaining staff members said goodbye to each other, since this was also the last moment they were together. After 12 years of service an end has come to an organization that was unique in the world.
Hopefully someday people who pull the strings will realize the void they created. Not only for the UN, but for Peace and Security in the world.
COMSHIRBRIG with Major Dane (NL)