Canada’s fallen in Afghanistan are being honoured in Yellowknife this week.
The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil, a touring tribute to those who died during the Afghanistan conflict, opened at the city’s legislative assembly on Tuesday.
The vigil, initially constructed and displayed at the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan, includes more than 190 plaques commemorating Canadian armed forces personnel and colleagues who were lost.
Among those honoured is Cpl Jordan Anderson, a former Northwest Territories resident, who was killed at the age of 25 by a roadside bomb in July 2007.
The plaques recently toured cities throughout Canada, with Yellowknife expected to be the memorial’s final major stop before it finds a permanent home.
The vigil will be open for public viewing from 6pm till 10pm on Tuesday, then 6am till 10pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at the legislature.
“To have this travel across Canada – to see the faces and the names – is very important, for all of us to remember the sacrifices made by all Canadians,” said Staff Sergeant Major Alan McCambridge, of the Northwest Territories RCMP, whose year-long Afghanistan tour began in March 2006.
“I’ll bring my daughter to see this, so we can reflect and really, truly, thank those that have fallen and those that continue to serve.”
Lloyd Lush, president of the Yellowknife Legion, took part in Tuesday’s ceremony, which was attended by Cpl Anderson’s family.
“To bring this to Yellowknife, after it went to Ottawa and all over Canada, is a real honour,” said Lush.
“There are some people with plaques from my hometown back in Newfoundland, and it means a lot to walk by and honour those guys who served our country.”
Joseph Mewett, president of the Whitehorse Legion, made the trip to Yellowknife to see the vigil.
“It’s unreal,” he told Moose FM.
“Having been in Afghanistan, viewing the vigil and seeing faces of guys I served with – who are no longer with us – is breathtaking.
“I made the trip over because I’d never seen it before. I saw a different vigil in Kandahar, I was on the first crew that went in and this vigil wasn’t around then.
“As soon as I found out it was coming here, I jumped at the chance to come take a look at it.”