Fredericton area gets Canada's first LAV memorial to Afghan mission
The Fredericton area has won its bid to become home to the first in a series of memorials to the Afghan mission, featuring an iconic troop carrier.
The Canadian military is retiring the LAV III and replacing it with a newer generation of light armoured vehicle, the LAV 6.
Now, the eight-wheeled machines, each equipped with a 20-millimetre cannon, are being converted into monuments to the 12-year mission with which they became so strongly associated.
The monuments will be installed across the country, and on Friday it was announced that the first one will be erected in Oromocto, N.B.
The town is home to CFB Gagetown, known as the home of Canada’s army.
Brian MacDonald, a local PC MLA and a retired soldier himself, said having the first LAV monument in the Fredericton area is significant.
“There are so many people that have come through Gagetown and the Fredericton region for training that we've got a deep bond with that and of course their families have felt, personally, the service and sacrifice,” MacDonald said.
Don Greenslade was on-hand for the announcement.
His son Pte. David Greenslade was killed in 2007 when the LAV he was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device.
“He could walk the streets, being safe, so he wanted to be out to Afghtanistan to make the streets safe out there too,” he said.
Pte. Greenslade was one of 158 Canadian Forces members who died in the conflict.
Federal Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole was present for the ceremony.
A retired Air Force officer, he said that, just as relics of the world wars have stood in remembrance in Canadian communities, so too will the LAVs.
“We've seen these, whether it's a Sherman tank or aircraft on pillars across the country, these serve to remember and they serve to inspire,” he said.
“So years later, I joined the Air Force and it was part of my education as a young person and the LAV is now the modern monument."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Andy Campbell