Honouring Our Fallen- A Day on Guard at the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil

Sgt M.R. Williams

As I sit here at Edmonton City Hall, I am reflecting back on my tours in Kabul and Kandahar, thinking about the faces on the panels, some I knew, some I did not.  All, without a doubt, have made an impact on many members of the Regiment past and present.    

The National Afghanistan Memorial Vigil stopped in Edmonton during the week of 11-15 August 2014.  A Squadron and Regimental Headquarters were tasked to send soldiers that served in Afghanistan to the Memorial to speak with the public and with the families of the fallen.

Representing the Regiment in guarding the Vigil were Sgt Adam Pirie [Operation (Op) ATHENA Camp Mirage 2006 and Kandahar Airfield (KAF) Mission Transition Task Force (MTTF) Technical Assistance Visit (TAV) 2011], MCpl Colin Davidson [Task Force (TF) 1-10], Cpl John Langlands [Mission Closure Team (MCT) Op ATTENTION 2014], Cpl Brad Priddle (MCT Op ATTENTION 2014), Cpl Corina Skinner (TF 3-09), Cpl Alex Kent (TF 1-10), MCpl Tim Dickey (TF 1-07 and TF 3-08), and Sgt Matt Williams (Roto 0 Kabul 2003 and TF 3-08).

The Vigil is the exact same one that was inside the Regional Command – South Headquarters compound in KAF.  It was dismantled and shipped to Canada to allow Canadians an opportunity to commemorate the fallen service members of the Afghanistan conflict.  The Vigil is comprised of 192 plaques that represent the 158 CAF members, one diplomat, one civilian contractor with DND, and one embedded reporter.  It also includes 43 US Army and US Air Force members that were killed while serving under Canadian Command.

I am positive that to the nearly 3,000 visitors and family members of the fallen, the Vigil served as a point of closure to know that the memory of their loved ones are not forgotten and the sacrifice of so many injured and that lost their lives will endure time.

When the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil has completed its tour of 20 Canadian cities in November 2014 the location of the final resting place will be determined in the Nation’s Capital.