Afghanistan plaque unveiled at St. John's war memorial
Premier Danny Williams unveiled a new memorial Tuesday dedicated to soldiers who have served in Afghanistan.
Thousands of people gathered at the war memorial in downtown St. John's for Remembrance Day ceremonies, which included the dedication of a bronze plaque that commemorates those who have served in the war in Afghanistan, particularly those who have died there.
Williams said the plaque was the work of several people, including retired Gen. Rick Hillier, the former chief of defence staff, who discussed the idea with Williams last year.
"General Hillier felt it would be appropriate, as did the government of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Williams, whose government struck a committee with the Royal Canadian Legion to determine how to honour Afghanistan veterans.
"It was decided that the most appropriate way to give memory, of course, to fallen soldiers was by putting it right here on the war memorial," Williams said.
Fred Bouzane, whose son, Stephen Bouzane, 26, was killed in June 2007, attended the service. He said Remembrance Day is a difficult time, but that he is pleased with the new memorial.
"I think it's very nice that today's soldiers, they are getting honoured the same as the veterans of World War One and World War Two," he said.
"A hard way to keep the memory of veterans alive, but, yeah, it's very important."
The new Afghanistan plaque was placed on the granite cenotaph of the National War Memorial, so named as it was built in the 1920s when Newfoundland was a dominion and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment had fought with Britain in the First World War.