Afghanistan war veterans were honoured in a rededication ceremony of the Edmonton Cenotaph outside city hall Sunday afternoon.
This year marks the 20th anniversary since Canada joined the war in Afghanistan. On April 17, 2002, four Edmonton-based soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry were the first Canadian soldiers to die in Afghanistan.
Mayor Don Iveson said Sunday was a day for remembrance and to honour the memory of those who were called to “bring hope, safety and peace to this world.”
“Today as Edmontonians, once again as we do so well, we hold close our neighbours and our friends who lost family, friends and colleagues in Afghanistan,” Iveson said. “Those whose hearts and spirits continue to bend under the burden of loss, as well as those who yet bear the scars of that conflict, and that trauma.”
The dedication ceremony included a flyby of three Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopters, from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton.
Attendees were told personnel from the squadron deployed to Afghanistan constantly between 2006 and 2011. The majority of the crew in the Sunday flyby served in Afghanistan.
Canadian troops were deployed in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. There were 158 Canadian soldiers killed in the war and thousands of others injured.