Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 09, 2013 11:36 ET

Minister of National Defence and Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command Unveil Afghanistan Memorial Vigil in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 9, 2013) - The Honourable Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, and the Commander for Canadian Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, today marked more than a decade of service in Afghanistan by unveiling the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil on Parliament Hill.

"The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil represents more than a decade of dedication and sacrifice of the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces," said Minister MacKay. "These sacrifices of our forces have been instrumental in preventing Afghanistan from again becoming a haven for terrorists, have brought stability and security to Afghans, and have allowed them to develop and rebuild their country. We thank our Canadian Armed Forces for their steadfast service, and we thank their families and friends-and all Canadians-who supported the troops in our mission in Afghanistan."

"This memorial reflects the bravery, dedication and valour of the fallen from our mission in Afghanistan. The faces you see etched here are of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in combating terrorism, promoting peace, and creating a more secure environment for Afghans," said Lieutenant-General Beare. "With this vigil we remember and pay tribute to the fallen, we honour their families and we thank all Canadian Armed Forces members who served, and continue to serve, in Canada's military engagement in Afghanistan."

The Memorial Vigil comprises 190 plaques representing 201 fallen: 158 Canadian Armed Forces members, one Canadian diplomat, one Canadian civilian contractor, one Canadian journalist, and 40 United States Armed Forces members who were under Canadian command. The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil first will be displayed on Parliament Hill throughout the summer. Over the course of the next two years it will travel across Canada to provincial capitals and selected major urban centres and Canadian Armed Forces bases. It will also travel to Washington, DC.

In partnership with our whole-of-government partners, Afghan government and international allies, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces continue to make positive, effective and lasting differences in the lives of the Afghan people while contributing to international peace and security.

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