Ottawa, ON - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris applauded the decision by Canada's new Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Erin O'Toole, a Veteran himself, who announced two memorials will be created in the nation's capital to pay tribute to Canada's Afghanistan mission and to Victoria Cross recipients.
"These memorials will provide another opportunity for fellow Canadians to reflect upon the sacrifices made by members of the Canadian Armed Forces," said Maguire. "They will act as enduring reminders of our duty, as Canadians, to remember and reflect, with pride and compassion, on the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform."
The National Memorial to Canada's Mission in Afghanistan and the National Victoria Cross Memorial will be placed at Richmond Landing, along Confederation Boulevard, as part of the new Memorial Route. This beautiful green space on the bank of the Ottawa River has views of Parliament Hill and will provide a quiet yet prominent place for Canadians and visitors to reflect on Canada's mission in Afghanistan, and to read the names of those awarded the Victoria Cross. Both memorials and the Memorial Route will be officially unveiled in 2017, helping to mark Canada's 150th year since Confederation.
The National Memorial to Canada's Mission in Afghanistan, which was announced May 8, 2014, will serve as a testament to Canadians' deep gratitude for the strength, courage and valour of Canadian Armed Forces members who reacted immediately to their call of duty and served in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The memorial will also pay tribute to the service, sacrifices and accomplishments of many Canadians, both military and civilian, who helped begin to rebuild Afghanistan.
The National Victoria Cross Memorial will honour Canadians who have earned our nation's highest award for valour, listing all of their names.
Competitions for designing and creating both memorials will be launched in the coming months.
Maguire concluded, "I will continue to stand up for Westman Veterans and be a strong voice for our region. If any local Veteran still has issues accessing services, I urge you to contact my office. Even though a lot has been done, there is still much more to do."
Canada's Mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)
- More than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members were deployed to Afghanistan-the largest number since the Second World War.
- The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856 as the highest military honour for gallantry, covering all actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854.
- Since the Crimean War, 99 Canadians have been awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry; 38 posthumously.