A new permanent monument honouring all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who died serving their country during the Afghanistan mission has arrived in Victoria.
The Greater Victoria Afghanistan Memorial lists the names of 163 men and women who made the supreme sacrifice during the mission, but is also meant as a tribute to those who made it back home.
The image on the monument was inspired by a photo taken by Reuters photographer Finbarr O’Reilly in 2007. It shows a Canadian soldier holding the hand of an Afghan child.
“That’s very meaningful because that’s why Canadians went there,” said Jamie Hammond with the Greater Victoria Afghanistan Memorial Project Society. “They didn’t go there for the glory of war… they went there to help another generation of people.”
A father of one of the soldiers killed during the mission says he’s very pleased with how the memorial turned out.
Richard Nuttall’s son, Lt. Andrew Nuttall, was killed in 2009 when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan.
“He was proud to be there and thought he was doing something worthwhile, there’s no question of that,” Nuttall said.
The Vancouver Island man and proud father says the monument serves as an honourable symbol of service and sacrifice.
“It’s a very fitting and dignified memorial to those who fell in Afghanistan and to those who served in the Afghanistan mission,” Nuttall said.
The memorial will be installed at the new playground behind the Victoria courthouse on Sept. 30.