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Where should the monuments come home to?

Where do YOU feel the cenotaph's new home should be?

  • Beechwood Cemetery

    Votes: 9 26.5%
  • Canadian National War Museum

    Votes: 22 64.7%
  • NDHQ (Nortel Campus)

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Elsewhere in Ottawa (post a comment explaining where/why)

    Votes: 2 5.9%

  • Total voters
    34
  • Poll closed .

tristismilitis

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My concern with the National War Museum is twofold. First: the museum has said on several occasions that they do not wish to have a large permanent exhibit with regard to the Afghanistan mission (because it is the War museum, not the Afghanistan museum, that is why the fantastic display that had been there for a few years was dismantled and moved to Calgary). The cenotaph is not something I personally could handle being boxed up for storage and only brought out every so many years.
Second: the museum requires an admission fee. Should it cost money for a citizen to go spend some time with this memorial?
I do love the museum and indeed I go there annually when I am in Ottawa, but I'm just not sure it's the very best place without the above issues being resolved.
I also visit Beechwood whenever I can (which is free and also a very important historical site) and in my mind's eye I have a picture of a solid style glass structure housing the cenotaph that would help protect the materials from the ice and snow. Just a thought. I'm open to others though I imagine the final say will be the NCC's.
 

The Bread Guy

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tristismilitis said:
.... Just a thought. I'm open to others though I imagine the final say will be the Government of Canada's, in consultation with NCC.
Fixed that for you.
 

tristismilitis

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milnews.ca said:
Fixed that for you.

"The National Capital Commission (NCC) is a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada."

Figured that went without saying but thanks. 
My point was only that it would be good to hear other thoughts even though they may not have any impact on where the cenotaph's final home will be.
 

armyvern

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Jim Seggie said:
:) Thank you Vern!!

No problem.  :-*

I'll try to send you some pics of the marking, mapping, deconstruction and pack-up that occured. It was quite the engineering feat and the lads did an excellent job of respecting its significance. I also have a pic somewhere for you of Mike on November 11th - I left him with my poppy as did Krystie.
 

The Bread Guy

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tristismilitis said:
"The National Capital Commission (NCC) is a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada."

Figured that went without saying but thanks. 
My point was only that it would be good to hear other thoughts even though they may not have any impact on where the cenotaph's final home will be.
I was only making the point that the NCC isn't where the buck stops.

Agreed it's good to hear other ideas, and this is a good place to seek this kind of input - thanks for posting the survey to get things going. 
 

The Bread Guy

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Note:  To avoid confusion, this story/update is about the separate, stand-alone monument to the mission announced in May 2014 (news release also attached in case link doesn't work), NOT:
A new military memorial in Ottawa to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan is behind schedule, raising doubts about whether it will be completed as planned for Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017.

The ministerial briefing book for Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly describes the memorial as “a high profile commemoration” and says the department plans to launch a national design competition in the fall of 2015.

But Canadian Heritage, which is managing the project on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada, confirmed this week that no design competition has yet been announced. The department was tight-lipped about the project’s timetable, saying only that further details will be provided “in due course.”

Veteran’s Affairs, the project lead, was similarly vague, saying more information about the memorial and other commemorative initiatives “will be available in the coming months.”

(....)

Beyond the fact that it will be placed at Richmond Landing, on the banks of the Ottawa River just east of the Portage Bridge, very little information about the planned memorial has been revealed publicly.

However, a staff report submitted to an in-camera meeting of the National Capital Commission‘s board of directors last January — released to the Citizen by the NCC this week — contains heretofore secret details about the project, most notably its total budget of up to $5 million.

( .... )

The NCC document also reveals that the Crown corporation’s board considered granting federal land use approval for two different sites for the memorial during its in-camera meeting last January.

In addition to the selected site at Richmond Landing, the staff report also recommended an alternate location: a 1,100-square-metre triangle of land at the western entrance to the Mackenzie King Bridge, surrounded by Elgin, Albert and Slater streets.

NCC staff said the “Mackenzie King Bridge Triangle” site’s elevated position and location would enhance the new memorial’s visibility. The site also has “strong thematic links” to the National War Memorial and several military-themed commemorations in Confederation Park, the submission says.

But the board approved only the Richmond Landing site and deferred consideration of the Mackenzie King bridge site until more information was provided. The issue became moot when Veterans Affairs accepted the Richmond Landing location ....
Curious to hear from folks in the Ottawa area:  how publicly visible is the proposed site vs. the alternate site NCC seemed to consider at Elgin, Albert and Slater streets?  From the graphic in the story, the Richmond Landing site doesn't look all that public or easily accessible.
 

Blackadder1916

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They've finally decided on a place to put the cenotaph and it didn't turn out to be that good a decision.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/afghanistan-war-memorial-cenotaph-1.5143986
'An insult': Families of dead soldiers offended at being left out of low-key Afghanistan memorial event

DND says it wanted a 'humble, internal event ... to ensure proper reverence'

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: May 22, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: May 22

A number of families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan say they feel betrayed by a decision made by bureaucrats at the Department of National Defence to privately dedicate a memorial last week containing the Kandahar battlefield cenotaph.

The marble and granite cenotaph structure, which stood outside of the Canadian task force headquarters throughout the war, was a focal point for soldiers who had lost comrades and families when they came on military-sponsored visits.

A special building — built behind the security cordon at the new DND headquarters in Kanata, in western Ottawa — was opened and dedicated on May 13 in a private ceremony. News of the dedication ceremony only became public in a social media post three days afterwards.

Families were not invited and were only informed of the event by letter.

"I wasn't given that opportunity to go to that event, but none of us were," said Anne Snyder. Her son, Capt. Jonathan Snyder, a Star of Military Valour recipient, died in 2008. "It's kind of an insult."

Errol Cushley, whose son Pte. William Cushley was killed in 2006, described how the department handled the situation as "shoddy" and said he would have made the trip to Ottawa from his southern Ontario home had he been invited.

"It seems like we're an embarrassment to them," said Cushley.

Closed to the public

DND's social media post last week said the memorial would not be open to the public — but families of slain soldiers could book appointments to see it when they're in Ottawa.

The defence department took half a step back from that approach on Tuesday, saying it was looking to "accommodate special visits by the public on appropriate occasions." DND still insists it's not possible to open the memorial up to the public completely.

"When I hear stupid things like that, yeah ... I get upset pretty easily," said Raynald Bouthillier. He lost his son, Trooper Jack Bouthillier, to a roadside bomb in 2009.

"If they can organize tours of the White House, don't tell me they can't organize something there."

The cenotaph — portions of which were displayed on Parliament Hill six years ago and subsequently toured the country — includes 192 black granite plates etched with the photographs of Canadian soldiers and civilians killed during the decade-long conflict, as well as those of Americans who died while under Canadian command in Kandahar.

A proposal by the previous Conservative government to create a lasting, public memorial to Afghanistan remains mired in bureaucratic disagreements among four different departments and agencies.

In light of that, Bouthillier said, it's more important than ever for Canadian civilians to have a specific place to remember the soldiers who fought in the Afghan war.

"They were willing to die for this country," said Bouthillier. "So why can't the general public go and see their faces and remember those guys? You know, for me, Remembrance Day is not once a year."

Jean-Marc Doucet, a National Defence official and acting director of transformation at the department's Ottawa headquarters, told CBC News last summer the initial plan was to allow the general public to visit the memorial, but "the process, procedures and guidelines are still being worked on."

'Proper reverence'

DND was asked Tuesday why the decision was made to hold the cenotaph dedication in private. The department responded in an email.

"Given the solemnity of the memorial and to ensure a dignified, dedication service, a quiet, limited service was held in honour of those we have lost," said the statement. "The decision to hold a humble, internal event was made by senior leadership to ensure proper reverence."

The department said it waited to post news of the event on social media "in order to ensure correspondence with the families of our fallen had sufficient time to be delivered."

Cushley said he never received his letter.

Successive federal governments have struggled to find an appropriate tribute to the over 40,000 troops who served during the brutal counter-insurgency war. Five years ago, the governing Conservatives held a ceremony on Parliament Hill with the families of the 158 Canadians who were killed in the conflict.

Planning for that event happened at the last minute, however — and there was confusion about whether relatives were expected to pick up the cost.

The Conservatives carved the dates of the Afghan conflict into the national war memorial, but promised a separate, permanent remembrance.

Bureaucratic wrangling

Documents obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation show that getting Veterans Affairs, Canadian Heritage, the National Capital Commission and the Canadian War Museum to agree on a site — after the first one was deemed unacceptable — has been a tortured process.

The records show that there is a consensus on a location — a patch of land east of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. But the various agencies "have not received further direction from [Veterans Affairs] on the next steps for this project," said an Oct. 28, 2018 briefing note.

Cushley said memorializing the war and the sacrifices that were part of it clearly hasn't been a priority for the Liberal government.

"They've let a lot of things with the military slip through the cracks with all the stuff they promised, including to veterans," he said.
 

Cloud Cover

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ArmyVern said:
Comment added to reflect my vote in the poll:

Other: Currently sourcing NCR land with easy and convenient access to all and investigating options to create a park setting that will also house the KAF Monument. I believe that is what they will eventually decide to go with.

Nortel: Although an option, I hear that access may be impeded for families who wish to visit (along with your average everyday Canadians as well) due to the campus' distance from the downtown core.

CWM/Beechwood: I hear this isn't happening either as this war is not over yet --- 2014 until our Canadian folks are all back home.


Talk is that the Monument will go into LTS until suitable NCR land can be found; it has already been deconstructed here, is crated up and is being escorted back. I can perhaps find some of the TF photos of it's deconstruction.


Why is RMC getting any attention for a location still? It certainly shouldn't be --- Read about 5 posts down the statement from the MND stating that it would be going to Ottawa.

The rest of you can vote as you wish, but I'm sticking with my vote  ...  ;)

Good call on the misfire.
 

Jarnhamar

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Top soldier admits handling of Kandahar memorial 'hit a nerve;' vows access

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/top-soldier-admits-handling-of-kandahar-memorial-hit-a-nerve-vows-access/ar-AABKw7M


Can't seem to cut and past.
Some of my favorite quotes from our top soldier.

"To ensure a dignified dedication service, a quiet, limited service was held in honour of those we lost "

"It was a beautiful ceremony but it was absent the families and the wounded"

And the knuckle biter on keeping it where it is..

"There's a certain elegance to that, because it's a constant reminder for those who work in the headquarters.... of the perils of war and the need to make good decisions around the committal of troops"
 

Remius

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Given the difficulty of working with the anything in the NCR, ie NCC, City of Ottawa, GoC etc etc, someone probably thought this was the easiest route. 

I would imagine that the difficulty of finding the space and ensuring the upkeep and maintenance (someone has to pay for it) etc etc factored into a course of action that looked good on paper...but failed to take into account the people who had the more vested interest in this. 

To me the war museum would have been a no brainer and appropriate.  Easy access, open to the public and would those people that otherwise might have had a bit of ignorance in regards to Afghanistan.
 

FSTO

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Jarnhamar said:
"There's a certain elegance to that, because it's a constant reminder for those who work in the headquarters.... of the perils of war and the need to make good decisions around the committal of troops"
Maybe. Once the neverending landscaping is complete. Or the building will be locked at all times.

I expect it to be moved due to the brooha this all caused. Repurposing the building and moving the monument will cost close to what a 3 story parkade would have cost at Carling.
 

daftandbarmy

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Remius said:
To me the war museum would have been a no brainer and appropriate.  Easy access, open to the public and would those people that otherwise might have had a bit of ignorance in regards to Afghanistan.

This.  :nod:
 

The Bread Guy

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The latest from the CDS (PDF attached in case link doesn't work for you):
“To our beloved Memorial Cross Families, our honoured Veterans and all Canadians,

“The best of intentions have led to unintended harm. When it comes to the opening last week of the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at the new National Defence Headquarters, we unintentionally went down that path. We owe the family and friends of our Fallen, all who served in Afghanistan, and Canadians an apology for not properly including you and not properly communicating with you. I am truly sorry for our insensitivity and the pain, anger and frustration that this decision caused you. I accept full responsibility for it all.

“You also deserve an explanation, and a changed approach.

“When the monument, once known as the Kandahar Airfield (KAF) Cenotaph, needed a permanent home, we considered several options, but ultimately decided to have it reside within the Headquarters lines on our new campus at Carling.  Our concern was to keep the monument accessible, but also safe from the elements and vandalism, so we decided to protect it within our base in a space custom-designed to house it in a dignified and peaceful setting, where people could pay their respects. We wanted to honour the Fallen – Canadian, U.S., military and civilian – by protecting this legacy of theirs carved in stone. In our Headquarters, it will serve as a daily reminder to us of the true, and ongoing, cost of war: much like it did on the airfield in Kandahar.‎

“We also made this decision to install it within the secured zone of the Headquarters in light of plans to create a publicly accessible National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan in Ottawa. This new monument will recognize the commitment and sacrifice of Canadian men and women who served in Afghanistan, as well as the support provided to them by Canadians at home. Our colleagues at Veterans Affairs Canada are working with the Department of Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission on this important project and we look forward to standing with them, the families of the Fallen, and our Veterans, on the day of its unveiling and dedication.

“Sadly, in trying to do the right thing by getting the Hall opened quickly so people, especially families of the Fallen, could arrange to visit, we alienated and angered these same people. Importantly, we also utterly failed to communicate the intent to hold an inclusive event in the future, following the opening of the Hall, to properly dedicate the Memorial. To each and to all, we offer our deepest apologies, and ask for forgiveness. We will be seeking input from the families of the Fallen on how best to conduct the dedication.

“More importantly, an apology is meaningless unless the wrong it seeks to address is mitigated, and this is how we will make things right:

“The Afghanistan Memorial Hall will become accessible to all who come and wish to see it. All members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families can see it whenever they want by presenting their military identification card for access.  While we must balance security and access, know that we have already established a system for personal escorted access to the memorial for the families of the Fallen. Indeed, several families have already reached out to us via the email address established for them: AfghanistanMemorial@forces.gc.ca.

“We are now coordinating their visits. Families and Veterans may also attend the Headquarters, and they will be immediately escorted for a visit. Details for timing will be forthcoming on a website to be launched shortly.

“In the coming month, we will begin providing continuous scheduled visit-opportunities to all who wish to visit, and we encourage you to do so.  This letter will be sent by email or courier to known addresses of the families of the Fallen.  Any family members of our Fallen, military or civilian, who would like to confirm their contact information are invited to contact us at: VisitorAfghanMemorial-visiteurmemorialAfghan@forces.gc.ca

“Canadians entrust us with their security and defence. Families of our Fallen and our Veterans entrust us with the honour of remembrance. Both are our sworn duty. We are a visible symbol around the world of what this great nation represents, and we constantly strive to be worthy of the support you give us, and we must return that support with professionalism in all we strive to do.  That remains our pledge to you.

“Lest we forget.”

- 30 –​
 

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  • CDS-khar-monument-24may2019.pdf
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brihard

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Remius said:
Given the difficulty of working with the anything in the NCR, ie NCC, City of Ottawa, GoC etc etc, someone probably thought this was the easiest route. 

I would imagine that the difficulty of finding the space and ensuring the upkeep and maintenance (someone has to pay for it) etc etc factored into a course of action that looked good on paper...but failed to take into account the people who had the more vested interest in this. 

To me the war museum would have been a no brainer and appropriate.  Easy access, open to the public and would those people that otherwise might have had a bit of ignorance in regards to Afghanistan.

That was proposed, and the War Museum said 'no'. They won't errect a memorial to a specific conflict on their grounds, in order to avoid being seen as exclusionary. The public Afghanistan memorial is due to go up on the National Capital Commission lands nearby, but the NCC is notoriously slow to get anything done.
 

kratz

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My thoughts, this is where there PAFO machine is chasing the tail.

If they had of issued press releases of the "temporary location" opening, invited a small "representative group" of family, this whole thing event wouldn't have made national news.

That whole transparency ahead of time, not afterwards with questions and hurt feelings.
 

Jarnhamar

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CDS apology- sorry I don't buy it.

To believe that explanation you would have to believe our leaders were too incompetent (I'd say stupid) to realize what the reaction would be from:
1. family of dead service members
2. wounded service members; and
3. the public.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't have seen this reaction coming or surprised by it.  If our leaders didn't then maybe they shouldn't be planning missions, because this was quite the amateur mistake.

 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
CDS apology- sorry I don't buy it.

To believe that explanation you would have to believe our leaders were too incompetent (I'd say stupid) to realize what the reaction would be from:
1. family of dead service members
2. wounded service members; and
3. the public.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't have seen this reaction coming or surprised by it.  If our leaders didn't then maybe they shouldn't be planning missions, because this was quite the amateur mistake.

Five phone calls asking the question 'What do you think?' would have helped....
 

The Bread Guy

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The latest ...
The memorial for those killed in Canada’s mission in Afghanistan at the new Department of Defence headquarters is to open to the public Friday afternoon, the department says.

People who aren’t military members, veterans or their families will have to register for visits in advance and be accompanied by Canadian Forces personnel, the department said Thursday.

Visiting hours will be limited: from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and three periods between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

The centrepiece of the “Afghanistan Memorial Hall” is the cenotaph that once stood at Kandahar Airfield, a key base for much of Canada’s military and aid effort in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. The cenotaph honoured the more than 160 Canadians who died in the Afghanistan mission, on Afghan soil, and the Canadian Forces brought it back when the mission ended.

The department has taken heavy criticism for putting the memorial in the secure zone of its new building in west Ottawa without an immediate plan to allow visitors who don’t work there ...
This, from the Info-machine ...
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have established a system for escorted access to the Afghanistan Memorial Hall for the families of the fallen on a priority basis. These guided visits began on May 26, 2019, and will continue under separate arrangements.

In the meantime, members of the public are also invited to visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at the National Defence Headquarters (Carling) in Ottawa, beginning on May 31, 2019, at 3:30 p.m., to honour those who lost their lives during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

Individuals wishing to find out more information on visit schedules, registration process and timelines, and contact details may email VisitorAfghanMemorial-VisiteurMemorialAfghan@forces.gc.ca. Please note that members of the public must register in advance.

Canadian Armed Forces personnel will guide each public visit and provide visitors with information on Canada’s military contribution in Afghanistan.

Planning is underway to hold a re-dedication event for the Kandahar Cenotaph in the coming months. Details on this event will be shared as soon as information is available ...
 

Jarnhamar

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Not to be a negative Nancy here but how does this reflect on the image of NDHQ personale and work load? We're taking CAF members away from their jobs to randomly escort people around and play tour guide. That's gotta be intrusive and disrupting, no?
Will these be $100,000 a year captains?
 

garb811

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Ceremonial Guard and/or the NSP just got a new duty station...
 
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