|STATEMENT: Afghan Remembrance Day Ceremony|
Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
Canada is the only country that has this kind of program that allows families to travel to the place where they lost their loved one and to meet fellow soldiers who knew, loved and worked with the lost soldier. One of the mothers said to us that she came with a broken heart and left with one that was healing.
Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay also presented a Canadian Sacrifice Medal, the first awarded in Afghanistan, to Sergeant Vince Adams who had been wounded by a bomb. After his recovery, he returned to Afghanistan to finish his tour. He is now teaching his fellow soldiers about ways of detecting and avoiding roadside bombs.
This remains a brutal reality for our troops. We met with many of them, visiting not only the main base in Kandahar, but travelling, as well, to four forward operating bases where our troops are working with and living alongside Afghan soldiers and providing direct security to Afghan villages.
We also met with our volunteer civilians and military personnel working with the PRT, the provincial reconstruction teams. We traveled to the Dahla Dam, Canada's signature project designed to bring clean water to a thirsty desert.
It is nearly two years since I was in Afghanistan. It was with great pride that this time we travelled on Canadian Chinooks with Canadian pilots, with air cover provided by Canadian Griffins.