Plans Outlined for National Day of Honour
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, invites all Canadians to join in on National Day of Honour activities taking place across Canada on May 9 in recognition of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan. Additional details were unveiled on the National Day of Honour website which offers Canadians information on the many parades taking place at Canadian Forces Bases and in communities across the country, as well as an afternoon program of events being held in conjunction with the national parade in Ottawa on Parliament Hill.
Canadians are encouraged to participate in events planned for the National Day of Honour, which will give Canadians the opportunity to salute the fallen, honour serving members and veterans, celebrate the strength of Canada’s remarkable military families and give tribute to all who participated in Canada’s 12-year mission in Afghanistan.
• Beginning May 4, Canadians will be able to follow the Soldier On Afghanistan Relay as the participating team carries the last Canadian flag to fly in Afghanistan from CFB Trenton to Ottawa. The 19-member team will be comprised of soldiers who all acquired a visible or non-visible illness or injury while under Canadian Command in Afghanistan. Canadians can also follow the Relay on social media at the following twitter handle: @SoldierOnCAN or with the following hashtags: #SoldierOnCan #SOAR #OurForces #NosForces #DayofHonour #Jourdecommemoration
• Veterans who are interested in joining in the parade being held in Ottawa can also visit the website for information on how to participate.
• Canadians are also encouraged to organize their own commemorative events, with a two-minute Moment of Silence to coincide with the event on Parliament Hill at 1:30 pm EDT. A guide to planning commemorative services is available on the website.
• The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil will be displayed in the Hall of Honour during the Afghanistan Commemoration Parade on May 9, and will then travel across Canada and to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. The Memorial Vigil contains 190 plaques representing 201 fallen: 158 CAF members, one Canadian diplomat, one Canadian civilian contractor, one Canadian journalist and 40 United States Armed Forces members who were under Canadian command.
• A suite of educational products such as photos, videos, and stories of Canada’s contribution in Afghanistan is available online.
• Canadians are encouraged to post their own personal message of appreciation for the troops on the National Day of Honour website.
“Following the end of one of Canada’s longest military missions, it is important that we stand together and honour the sacrifices of our forces members and their families, and salute all those who contributed to Canada’s 12-year military engagement in Afghanistan. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians will be given the opportunity to once again welcome our soldiers home and express our deep gratitude for the sacrifice and commitment they made throughout this mission,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.