Advertisement

Military to publicly rededicate Afghan War memorial in August after outcry

Click to play video 'Outrage over no public access to Afghan war memorial in Ottawa' Outrage over no public access to Afghan war memorial in Ottawa
Pressure is building on the Justin Trudeau Liberals to move a war memorial that's been cut off from the public. The cenotaph from Kandahar Airfield now sits inside the Department of National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. And as Mike Le Couteur reports, veterans' families are demanding answers and access – May 23, 2019

The Canadian military will publicly rededicate a memorial to fallen soldiers in the Afghan War in August.

Global News has confirmed a report by CBC News that there will be a ceremony this summer to rededicate the cenotaph, which was brought back from the Kandahar Airfield and then placed in a restricted zone of the new military headquarters in Ottawa in May without any notice being given to families.

READ MORE: Top soldier apologizes after outcry over restricted Afghanistan memorial, pledges to make it public

Letters have started going out to military families advising them of the change and inviting them to take part.

A public announcement of the change is expected in the coming days once all families have been notified, an official told Global News.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH BELOW: Soldiers’ families not told of Afghan war memorial tribute

Click to play video 'Soldiers’ families not told of Afghan war memorial tribute' Soldiers’ families not told of Afghan war memorial tribute
Soldiers’ families not told of Afghan war memorial tribute – May 22, 2019

Senior military staff dedicated the memorial, which bears the names and faces of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, in a secret ceremony on May 13.

No public notice was given until May 16.

Outcry from military families and politicians over the secret dedication prompted Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance to make a public apology for how it was handled. He said no harm was intended but that the decision to put the memorial in a restricted zone was an attempt to keep it safe from vandalism.

READ MORE: NCC approves site for monument to Canada’s war in Afghanistan

Another factor was the fact that another public monument to the Afghan War was already being planned by Veterans Affairs Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

The National Capital Commission officially approved the site for that second memorial last week: it will be located on the east end of the Canadian War Museum.

It is not yet clear where the Kandahar Airfield cenotaph will be relocated to once it is moved this summer.

Officials said more details will be available shortly.