Mother of fallen soldier says seeing the memorial helps the public better appreciate ‘what was taken away’
A reconstructed memorial to Canadians and Americans killed during the Afghan war — a moving tribute that once stood at Kandahar Airfield — should be open and accessible to the general public, say former commanders and families of those who died.
National Defence has completed construction of a building to house the cenotaph at the military’s new west-end Ottawa headquarters complex and will formally open the structure this fall, according to a spokesman and a posting on the federal government’s tendering website.
The department advertised last week for an audio-visual company to support the inauguration on Oct. 27, but Jean-Marc Doucet, acting director the Ottawa headquarters transformation, said the date has not been entirely confirmed.
The cenotaph, which originally stood outside of the Canadian command post at the airfield in Afghanistan, was dismantled and shipped home following the end of combat operations in 2011.
It was reassembled into a temporary display that travelled the country in 2013 while officials tried to find a permanent home in Ottawa.
The tribute uses black granite plates — 192 in all — etched with the photographs of Canadian soldiers and civilians killed during the decade-long conflict, as well as Americans who died while under Canadian command in Kandahar.