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Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney Speaks At Unveiling Ceremony For New Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial In Trenton, Ontario

The idea for the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial came about two years ago as a way for everyday Canadians to remember the sacrifices of our Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial will be a beautiful, permanent memorial honoring our Canadian Armed Forces personnel—the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the war in Afghanistan. The entire $1.2 million project is being funded solely by Canadians honouring Canadian soldiers through the Give to Honour Those Who Gave campaign, with no government assistance. To date, with the project in its final stages of construction, approximately $800,000 has been raised.

Set in a park-like setting on the beautiful Bay of Quinte and with 8 Wing/CFB Trenton—Canada's largest air force base nearby, the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial will be a fitting tribute not far from where Canadian repatriation ceremonies occur and at the beginning of our fallen soldiers' journey along the Highway of Heroes, from Trenton to Toronto.

The Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial's design was selected from many entries; each designed to honour our nation's recognition of the loss of sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. Sadly, 158 Canadian service members have fallen to date in this conflict.

The site of the Memorial will be approached by a walkway from a dedicated parking area off Highway 2, on the east side of Trenton at RCAF Road alongside the base. The monument itself is in a quiet and reflective low-walled area containing two large granite maple leaves—one in red granite inscribed with the Canadian Armed Forces emblem and provincial shields. The other leaf is in black granite etched to depict a family's loss with a solitary soldier in black granite depicting a fallen comrade. This latter maple leaf contains the names of those who have died in the conflict.

The entire site is designed to be reflective and contemplative in character and harmonize with its surroundings.

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