Dozens of men, women, armed service personnel and first responders showed up at Kelowna International Airport Friday morning to honour Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
For the 10-year period between 2001 and 2011, Canadian Forces lost 158 lives to the Afghan war.
“It’s in recognition of the sacrifice made by Canadian soldiers and their families during the conflict in Afghanistan,” explained Sean Parker, regimental sergeant major for the BC Dragoons.
“As Canadians, we’ve paid a heavy toll in support of this long war.”
This country sent over 40,000 troops to Afghanistan during that time, making it the largest deployment since the Second World War, and the longest lasting deployment involving Canadian troops.
“It was an extremely important deployment because it lessened the terrorist threat for those of us at home, as well as internationally,” said Honorary Colonel Carl Stef.
“We have a lot to be proud of in what we accomplished over there, we have a lot to honour our soldiers and families for their commitment, sacrifices, but we also would like to thank Canadians for their tremendous support.”
The day was commemorated with a plaque to be hung up at YLW. The airport was chosen for this occasion because it’s the first stepping stone for countless overseas deployments for military men and women in the Okanagan.