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Airdrie Legion to commemorate Canada’s Afghanistan Mission

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2014 10:28 am

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On May 9, the Airdrie branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will be hosting a ceremony to honour the veterans who served in Canada’s 12-year mission in Afghanistan at the Airdrie Cenotaph at 6 p.m.

“It is very important for the Airdrie Legion to pause and acknowledge those who responded to Canada’s important mission in Afghanistan,” said Bob McNevin, president of Airdrie Branch 288 of the Royal Canadian Legion, in a press release.

“All Canadians can be proud of the contribution that Canada’s soldiers made to the wellbeing of the country.”

The event will include the unveiling of a commemorative plaque designed as a “living memorial” for those who fell and those who were wounded during the engagement.

“The whole thing is designed to be a living tribute with an emphasis on those who did serve and were heavily impacted whether it be physically or emotionally,” said Michael O’Mahony, public relations officer for the Airdrie Legion.

More than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members were deployed to Afghanistan since October 2001, including 158 military members who were killed during the mission, according to the press release.

O’Mahony said the commemorative event will begin with a parade of colours, where Legion members will march with their flags.

The event will also include laying of wreaths for fallen and wounded soldiers, a moment of silence, and yet to be confirmed guest speakers.

“We encourage the public to attend, especially any Afghanistan veterans and their families,” O’Mahony said.

He added the Airdrie Legion is reaching out to veterans and offering resources and support, and have set up a special email account for Afghanistan veterans or their families; atafghanvetsairdrie@gmail.com

“The main thing is that support and services are available if they need them,” O’Mahony said.

“It’s geared to the need of the veteran and it can include financial help, psychological support or just help getting to appointments.”

He added, the Legion doesn’t currently have a home building but they expect to move to their new location at 132-1st Ave within the next few months. In the meantime, he said veterans and their families can contact the Legion at 403-948-3000 or by email at rcl288member@shaw.ca

The May 9 event, falls on Canada’s national day of honour for Canada’s mission to Afghanistan and is open to the public and O’Mahony encourages people to participate in the ceremony, which he said will probably only be half an hour long.

“Canada owes a lot to its veterans. They made enormous sacrifices pursuing Canada’s policy in Afghanistan,” he said.


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