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The Department of National Defence opened the Afghanistan Memorial Hall on May 13th with little to no public fanfare. Families of veterans who fought in the Afghanistan War also did not receive any invitation to the commemorative event and the venue was not accessible to the public.
The event was advertised on Facebook three whole days after it had occurred.
“The importance of this hall for the families of the Fallen, as well as Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence members, cannot be understated. We must maintain the memories of those who fell, and those who returned, from Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. We will remember them,” claimed General Jonathan H. Vance.
Those in attendance were senior members of the Canadian military alongside department management.
On May 17th, the Canadian Armed Forces’ Twitter account responded to some of the criticisms about the commemoration’s secretive nature.
“We understand and appreciate the outpouring of sentiment and feelings regarding the recent dedication of the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at our new headquarters building,” wrote the account.
“We are also considering ways to accommodate special visits by the public on appropriate occasions. Given the memorial’s location inside the national HQ, it is not possible to make it constantly available, but we do want to share it with Canadians.”