Langley among communities honouring Afghanistan soldiers

Langley City joined with other Canadian communities in honouring the men and women who fought in Afghanistan with a brief ceremony May 9.

The City worked with the Royal Canadian Legion Langley Branch to hold a ceremony Friday afternoon.

In addition to dignitaries and legion representatives, there was an honour guard of Langley City Fire Rescue members.

The federal government recently created the National Day of Honour.

“We couldn’t have done it over there, internationally, if we did not have the support back home,” commented Lt.-Col. Doug Poitras, the commanding officer of the Royal Westminster Regiment.

He served in Afghanistan and was joined by Warrant Officer Trevor Avey, of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, who served two tours.

The day was to mark the end of this country’s military mission in Afghanistan.

A national ceremony on Parliament Hill paid tribute to the fallen, the sacrifices of the wounded, and the burden borne by families. Canadians were invited to honour the legacy of these heroes with a national moment of silence.

Flag raised

A flag raised over Langley Friday in honour of Afghan War veterans and fallen was once flown above the Peace Tower in Ottawa.

Steve Ferguson, a Township councillor, and staffer Len Hryn hoised the flag, then lowered it to half-mast for two minutes of silence at 9 a.m. 

The flag was raised in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum adjacent to the Walk for the Fallen and the special cenotaph established there.

It is one of the first cenotaphs in Canada dedicated specifically to remembering Canada’s war dead in the Afghan conflict. The names of the soldiers and civilians lost over the 12 years of the war are written on a metal band wrapped around a wooden monument. Trees along the path are planted in the memory of the fallen.

Ferguson said the flag would only fly for one day, before being put back into storage.

The flag was brought from Ottawa, and is intended for special occasions only. 

The flag raising was part of a series of events that took place across Canada on Friday to remember the Afghan conflict. The event was dubbed a Day of Honour by the federal government.

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