Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Afghan war vets need recognition

Hamilton should honour its dead soldiers from Afghanistan by inscribing their names on all area cenotaphs, says a local businessman.

Chris Ecklund, who created and continues to fund the Canadian Heroes memorial website and Facebook pages for Canada’s Afghan war veterans, said the soldiers who gave their lives in Afghanistan should be honoured by putting their names on local cenotaphs, especially the one at Gore Park.

Ecklund said he would pay the cost to engrave the names of Hamilton’s three soldiers — including Sergeant Shawn Eades and Private Mark Anthony Graham — on the cenotaphs in time for this year’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Ecklund said he doesn’t want Canada’s Afghan war veterans forgotten — something that happened to Canada’s Korea veterans after the conflict ended in 1953.

Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead applauds Ecklund’s idea. But he said it should be reviewed by the city’s veterans subcommittee.

Other Ontario municipalities have added names of Canadians who served in Afghanistan after being asked by family members and local Canadian Legions.

Municipalities in the past have balked because Canadian soldiers were still participating in military operations. But in July, the Canadian government declared the mission complete.

Ecklund plans on sending a letter to council requesting the city engrave the names of Hamilton’s soldiers who served in Afghanistan into the cenotaph at Gore Park.

Hamilton Community News

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