Executive Council
November 11, 2008

Province Honours Canadian Soldiers Involved in the Afghanistan Conflict

The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, attended todayís Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial where he unveiled a bronze plaque honouring all Canadians who serve in the Afghanistan conflict, in particular those who have sacrificed their lives.

In the fall of 2007, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced its intention to establish a memorial in the province to honour soldiers who served and sacrificed their lives in the Afghanistan mission. Since then, the province, in collaboration with representatives of the Newfoundland / Labrador Command of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Military Family Resource Centres, has been exploring ideas to best commemorate the contribution and sacrifice of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and other Canadian Forces personnel in Afghanistan. Together, it was decided that a bronze plaque, similar in wording and design to the plaques honouring service personnel from World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict, would be an appropriate and meaningful approach.

"The people of Newfoundland and Labrador have a long and proud history of answering the call to service for our country," said Premier Williams. "We have many monuments to acknowledge the legacy and contributions of past conflicts. Our hope is that this plaque will not only honour the memory and sacrifice of our fallen soldiers, but also honour our troops that are currently serving in Afghanistan. On behalf of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, we want to show our appreciation for the sacrifices our troops have made, and continue to make, in the advancement of peace and freedom."

Representatives of the St. Johnís Military Family Resource Centre and the Royal Canadian Legion also expressed their pleasure at the new symbolic plaque now permanently affixed to the National War Memorial.

"When families experience the deployment of a loved one, fear for their safety is always a paramount concern," said Michelle Greene, Executive Director, St. Johnís Military Family Resource Center. "It is with great sadness that some loved ones never return home. By this monument, the memory of ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered."

"The Royal Canadian Legion, Newfoundland/Labrador Command was pleased to work with the Provincial Government and the Canadian Armed Forces Family Resources Center to plan the best way to honor and pay tribute to those men and women who have served our Country Canada with distinction on the battle fields of Afghanistan," said Bill Titford, Newfoundland/Labrador Command of The Royal Canadian Legion. "The Royal Canadian Legion is very proud of its Armed Forces personnel, and want them to know just how grateful we are."

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Roger Scaplen
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991

2008 11 11                                                  12 :05 p.m.

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