Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in 2017. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in 2017. (File photo by Advocate staff)

New project to pay tribute to Canadians killed in Afghanistan

Flags of Remembrance scheduled for Sept. 11

Veterans Voices of Canada will interview 158 Canadian servicemen and women who served in Afghanistan to honour the lives of those who died in the war.

The new project, called The 158, is being created nearly 20 years after 9/11, which sparked the war, said Al Cameron, Veteran Voices of Canada founder.

“It’s about honouring the 158 that didn’t come back to tell their story by honouring and documenting 158 Afghanistan veterans who could come back and tell their story,” Cameron said, adding only a few veterans have been interviewed so far.

For many people, when they think of veterans, they think of those who served in the Second World War or the Korean War, Cameron said. It’s important to remember the sacrifices of modern-day veterans as well, he added.

“They’ve served, just like our older veterans did. They put their name out there, they were sent where they needed to be sent, either to peace keep or to go into battle,” he said.

“I think it’s important we … shine a light on these guys and gals as well. It’s always something that needs to be done. We need to make sure we remember what they did.”

Anyone interested in participating in The 158, is asked to reach out to Veterans Voices of Canada. The interviews with veterans will be posted on the Veterans Voices of Canada website when they are completed.

“It’s going to be a lot of work. We want to do 158 interviews by the end of this year – preferably we can do them all by Sept. 11, which is the opening day of our Flags of Remembrance as well.”

This year, Flags of Remembrance will take place in Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Windsor, Ont., Dunnville, Ont., Philipsburg, Que. and Sydney, N.S.

The size of the opening ceremonies, which sees the raising of 128 flags, will be dictated by what COVID-19 restrictions are in place Sept. 11, said Cameron.

“The flags will always go up and as long as we get sponsors for those plaques of honour, we’ll have names on those flags. The idea is to have one name on a sponsored plaque of honour on each one of those 128 flagpoles,” he said.

“We’re really hoping the opening ceremony will be what is what pre-2020. We had some pretty amazing ceremonies where military, first responders and community members came out to participate.”

For more information regarding The 158 and Flags of Remembrance, visit vetvoicecan.org.


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