Memorial for Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan unveiled in N.B.
Published Wednesday, June 22, 2016 7:35PM ADT
The first of a series of memorials to Canada's Afghanistan war dead has been unveiled near Base Gagetown in Oromocto, N.B.
This one is a decommissioned, light-armoured vehicle used in Afghanistan – the kind in which some Canadian soldiers lost their lives.
Laurie Greenslade lost her son, David, in one of the vehicles. Pte. David Greenslade was killed along with five others when the LAV they were in drove over a roadside bomb.
"Our relationship with him was very close, and we're very proud of him," said Laurie Greenslade. "It's hard to see it in knowing, like I said, the last time he experienced his life was here."
The mission in Afghanistan claimed the lives of 158 Canadians.
"This LAV will represent that bond with the community for decades and decades to come,” said Col. Daniel MacIssac, commander of Base Gagetown. “It represents our collective people's sacrifices."
Two hundred and fifty LAVs will become monuments in communities across the country, but it was veteran and MLA Brian MacDonald that made sure Oromocto would get the first.
“Although it is undoubtedly a machine of war, every moment that that gun was fired, there were thousands of moments where our troops used it as shelter and relied on it as protection, and called it their home," said MacDonald.
The Greenslades say it was time for this LAV to call Oromocto home.
"I was able to go on a LAV when we went to Afghanistan as members of next of kin,” said Laurie Greenslade. “It was tough, but I think it's all a process."
She says despite the painful connection, they will embrace it as a memorial for their son.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Brown.