The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be rededicating the Kandahar Cenotaph at a special ceremony taking place at the Afghanistan Memorial Hall, located at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa. The ceremony will pay tribute to the sacrifices made by soldiers and civilians who died during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
“On 17 August 2019, we will conduct the formal rededication of the Kandahar Cenotaph. The Canadian Army is working diligently to create a dignified and enduring moment for families of our fallen to share the solemn pride that honours the legacy of those they loved and lost. Many others will be invited individually including veterans, serving members, media who covered the war and special stakeholders. More details will follow in the days and weeks to come,” said General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff.
Though the ceremony will not be open to the public, families of the fallen soldiers have been invited to attend. The families were contacted regarding the rededication ceremony on June 24, 2019.
“This ceremony will mark the solemn rededication of the Kandahar Cenotaph in its new location on Canadian soil. The Cenotaph will forever recognize the sacrifices of those whose images are engraved on it, and it gives all Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, families of Canada’s fallen in Afghanistan and the public a place to pay tribute to our fallen, “ said Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander Canadian Army.
The Kandahar Cenotaph was created to honour the military and civilian personnel who died during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. In 2011, the Cenotaph was transported to Canada and now rests in Afghanistan Memorial Hall at NDHQ.
CAF members and veterans are able to visit the Cenotaph during regular business hours or during a public tour. Starting in late May, families have been able to make special visits to the Cenotaph, and these visits continue under special arrangements.
The Department of National Defence is able to assist with travel costs for up to six family members of each of the 161 fallen Canadian soldiers. If family members have not already been contacted by DND about the August 17 ceremony, they should contact a local Canadian Armed Forces Transition Centre. For more information, click here.