Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Rick Hansen to host Day of Honour for Canada’s role in Afghan war

Rick Hansen.

Jimmy Jeong/

Athlete Rick Hansen will host a multimillion-dollar National Day of Honour May 9 to commemorate Canada's sacrifice and contribution to the war in Afghanistan.

The 12-year military engagement cost the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist and two civilian contractors. The Canadian government is estimated to have spent upwards of $11-billion on the conflict.

The focus of the celebrations will be Parliament Hill, although cities across Canada are being encouraged to hold their own ceremonies.

Story continues below advertisement

The May 9 event will begin with a parade from the Canadian War Museum to Parliament Hill. It will be followed by two minutes of silence, a fly-by salute and public viewing of the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil in Centre Block's Hall of Honour. The memorial is a series of plaques represented Canadians who died there as well as fallen U.S. soldiers under Canadian command.

Families of Canadians who died in Afghanistan are being invited to attend, and their travel bills will be covered, the government said.

Representatives from Canadian military units who served in Afghanistan will also attend.

"Over the course of 12 years in Afghanistan more than 40,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces served there, fighting insurgents, along with hundreds of Canadian civilians who worked on development projects." Canadians "worked to defeat terrorism and give Afghans a chance at a better future," the Prime Minister's Office said.

"Canada played a central role in Afghanistan for more than a decade," Mr. Harper said.

"With Canada's help, thousands of members of the Afghan National Security Forces have been trained, hundreds of kilometres of roads have been built or repaired, dozens of schools have been restored, thousands of teachers trained, and millions of children have been vaccinated against diseases like polio," the Prime Minister said.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨