Canada has paid a huge price in life and treasure during 10 years of war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, 161 Canadians lost their lives; 158 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, one diplomat, one civilian contractor and one journalist. Along with our Canadian casualties, 40 Americans tragically lost their lives while under Canadian Forces command.
Our Government is tremendously proud of our military. The sacrifices of our Canadian forces have been instrumental in preventing Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for terrorists, have brought stability and security to Afghans, and have allowed the country to develop and rebuild.
In honour of these sacrifices, former Defence Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil on Parliament Hill last week. The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil displays the bravery, dedication and valour of the fallen during our mission in Afghanistan. The Memorial Vigil consists of 190 Plaques representing the 201lives lost.
The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil 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, major urban centres, and Canadian Armed Forces bases. It will also travel to Washington, DC.
Although we can never appropriately thank the brave men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan, the Memorial Vigil is meant to be a testimony to their heroism. Lest we Forget.
Please visit the Afghanistan Memorial vigil website at: http://www.cjoc.forces.gc.ca/exp/vigil-veille-eng.asp, for more information.