The Langford legion is welcoming home Canadian Forces veterans of Afghanistan with a parade, a ceremony and community barbecue on Saturday.
Veterans and legion members will march to the cenotaph at Veterans Memorial Park at 10:45 a.m. for a remembrance ceremony and wreath laying. At noon, veterans will be honoured at the legion hall.
“It’s like a mini Remembrance Day,” said Patti O’Hara, manager of the Royal Canadian Legion, Prince Edward Branch No. 91. “With the mission in Afghanistan coming to an end and most troops coming out, this is a welcome home and thanks for a job well done.”
Legions across Canada are honouring veterans of Afghanistan this weekend as the nine year mission fighting Taliban militia and aiding reconstruction efforts comes to a close.
More than 2,500 Canadian military personnel served on the ground in Kabul and around Kandahar at any given time. Since 2002, 157 members of the Canadian Forces have been killed in Afghanistan, with the latest perishing on June 25.
Langford legion is expecting at least 35 Afghan veterans, most who are based out of CFB Esquimalt or the 443 Squadron at Patricia Bay, although many others could show up. The public is welcome to the ceremony at the cenotaph and to join the welcome home celebration and barbecue at the legion hall.
“It’s a way for the community to come and meet local (veterans) and say thank you,” O’Hara said. “This is definitely something we want the community to be involved in.”
Aug. 20 schedule of events
10:45 a.m. – Veterans parade from Langford legion at 761 Station Ave. to the cenotaph at Veterans Memorial Park.
11 a.m. – Ceremony of remembrance and wreath laying.
Noon: – Ceremony of thanks for veterans of Afghanistan at the legion hall.
1 p.m. – Community barbecue at the legion hall.