Friday has been designated a “National Day of Honour” for those who served in Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.
There will be a ceremony in Ottawa and at cenotaphs across the country. The ceremony at the Nanaimo Cenotaph will start at 10:00am. Several Afghan vets will be there, including Sergeant-at-Arms Darcy George, who participated in a couple tours of duty in Afghanistan.
A minute of silence will be held at 10:30am.
Sunshine Coast Legions, including Sechelt, location of the area’s largest cenotaph, have not announced plans for formal ceremonies, but they have been spreading the message about the moment of silence.
The mission, which started in 2002, claimed the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist and two civilian contractors. Canada’s role in Afghanistan officially ended this year.
Carol Tisdale is President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10 in Nanaimo. She says they were only told by the government on Friday that the day is being treated just like Remembrance Day.
Tisdale says they’re inviting veterans and their families back to the legion after the ceremony in Nanaimo for sandwiches. They’ll also be hosting a dance Friday night, featuring the band Luv Train. The doors open at 7:00pm and the music starts at 8:00pm. Afghan veterans will get free admission.