Myles Mansell Road officially opened today in honour of the young Langford solider who perished in Afghanistan in 2006.
Flanked by howitzer canons, hundreds of friends, family and fellow military members gathered at Walfred and Myles Mansell roads Saturday afternoon for a unveiling ceremony and memorial, led by the 5th (B.C.) Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery.
“It’s very important for us to know others think of Myles and remember Myles,” said Nancy Mansell, Myles’ mother. “That’s the main thing, we don’t want him to be forgotten and just be another number.”
Mansell died in Afghanistan on April 22, 2006, at age 25 from a roadside bomb while on patrol in the Kandahar province. “Myles thought he could make a difference there,” Nancy said. “He believed in what we was doing over there.”
Mansell grew up in Langford and Metchosin, attending Hans Helgensen elementary, Metchosin elementary, Spencer middle school and graduated from Belmont secondary. Belmont also plans to unveil a commemoration plaque in Mansell’s memory. He joined the army reserve 5th (B.C.) Field Regiment in 1998.
“Everybody loved Myles. He was not only a member of the unit but an active member of his community,” said Chief Warrant Officer Brian Lougheed with the 5th. “He was a hard working soldier. (Losing Mansell) was huge shock to the family, the community and the nation.”
Surrounded by friends and supporters, Mansell’s fiancée Lindsay Sullivan said it was beautiful and heart-warning to see so many people come out to honour Mansell.
Echoing the sentiments of many of his military colleagues, Sullivan remembers Mansell’s wide smile and zest for life. “He touched everyone he came across,” she said. “He was so dedicated to his friends and family.”
Master Cpl. Ken Himes, who worked alongside Mansell fighting the 2003 fires in Kelowna, kicked off the campaign to publicly honour the young artillery solider about four years ago. Langford city hall and Langford firefighter Geoff Spriggs in particular helped him navigate the system to create a road dedication.
“I think he deserves to be dedicated a stream, a river, a mountain, a movie,” Himes said. “He was the heart and soul of the unit. He is everything good about the Canadian Armed Forces. He deserved at the very least a street.”