Honouring Canada's War Dead in Afghanistan
Canada started it mission in Afghanistan in early 2002. The first unit deployed to Afghanistan was the Third Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry under the able command of Lieutenant Colonel Pat Stogran. Pat was promoted to Colonel after his tour and is now the Veterans Ombudsman.
During this tour, the now infamous friendly fire incident occurred. An American fighter jet targeted the Canadians while on a live fire exercise near Kandahar Airfield.
Canada has done some heavy lifting in Kandahar province and Canadian casualties have now reach 138 soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist and two Canadian aid workers.
The commitment the troops are making in Afghanistan has not gone unnoticed by the Canadian public. Each and every soldier has been honoured with a ramp ceremony at Kandahar Airfield. Repatriation, with the consent of the soldiers family, has been broadcast by major media networks and, in most cases, the funeral also receives honourable mention by the national media.
A grass roots movement was instrumental in renaming a stretch of Highway 401 between Trenton, Ontario and Toronto to "The Highway of Heroes". Citizens of every walk of life along with police officers and firemen line this highway as the hearse of the fallen makes its way to Toronto to the Medical Examiners office.
The autopsies performed have been instrumental in providing more protection to our troops as the Medical Examiner determines vulnerabilities in equipment.
The link here leads to every Canadian Military Casualties in Afghanistan. Please take a moment to honour our young Canadian heroes.
A link to a story on Michelle Lang's funeral held just yesterday is here. Michelle was killed along with four Canadian soldiers on December 30th near Kandahar city.
Most of Canada's deaths, as is the case with most other NATO partners, have been as a result of Improvised Expolosive Devices (IEDs).
Since the start of Canadian military activities in Afghanistan, 138 Canadian soldiers have lost their lives. A Canadian diplomat, two Canadian aid workers and a Canadian journalist have also been killed over the course of the insurgency.