Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 10, 2011 15:52 ET

Cenotaph to Fallen Canadians in Afghanistan to Find Home in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2011) - The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Peter MacKay, and Chief of the Defence Staff General Walt Natynczyk today announced that the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Cenotaph to Our Fallen, currently located at the Kandahar Air Field, will be brought home to an undetermined location in the nation's capital.

"We have a solemn duty to remember those who served, especially those who have fallen in service to their country," said Minister MacKay. "I am pleased that we've entered into discussions with the National Capital Commission to identify an appropriate site for the cenotaph, one that will provide a place for reflection and remembrance for the public, affected families, and the Canadian Forces."

"As we move our forces and equipment back home from 10 years in Afghanistan, we have decided to bring back a very important item of remembrance, the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Cenotaph," said General Natynczyk. "It has served as a powerful symbol of sacrifice, and one that many family members of our Fallen were able to touch during the visits to theatre that we organized."

On November 12th, the cenotaph will start to be dismantled and all components that can be removed and transported will be returned to Canada. It will be carefully stored until an appropriate location within the National Capital Region can be identified.

"We will be honoured to have the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Cenotaph in the Capital Region," said Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer at the National Capital Commission. "It will contribute to the Capital's ability to tell the story of who we are as Canadians."

The cenotaph was erected in 2006 at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, and added to over time. There are now 189 memorial plaques, some of them representing multiple members: 149 plaques honour fallen Canadian Forces members, a Foreign Affairs official (Glyn Berry), a Canadian journalist (Michelle Lang), and a civilian from a contracted company (Marc Cyr, SNC Lavalin). The other 40 plaques honour the 39 U.S. military and one civilian member who died while serving under Canadian command. At present, there is only one plaque remaining to be added, that being for Master-Corporal Byron Greff.

In the interim, and to mark the fact that the mission continues, a one-metre high stone along with the bas-relief plaque, designed by Ms. Sylvia Pecota and currently the centrepiece to the cenotaph, will be transported to Canadian Forces in Kabul. It will be transported back to Canada when the Canadian Forces contribution to the Afghanistan mission is over.


Still imagery of the Task Force Memorial to Fallen Canadians in Afghanistan is available on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery site at

Contact Information