Funds sought to build Afghan war dead memorial in Ont.
Published Tuesday, July 12, 2011 8:21AM EDT
A new fundraising campaign seeks to raise $1.5 million for the construction of a memorial in Trenton, Ont., to honour the Canadians who died serving in Afghanistan over the past decade.
The planned Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial will be located near CFB Trenton, the air base where the remains of Canada's fallen have begun their repatriation journeys after they were flown home from Kandahar.
The project is being funded through public donations and the goal is to unveil the memorial next spring.
The memorial's fundraising drive is being launched in Trenton on Tuesday morning.
Mark Freeman, the father of a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan, will be among those attending the fundraising launch on Tuesday.
His son, Private Michael Freeman, was killed in December 2008, just weeks after arriving for his first tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Mark Freeman said plans to build the memorial in a park setting near the Highway of Heroes are fitting, because they will give the families of fallen soldiers a place where they can go to remember their loved ones.
"Here we've been down to many repatriations since Michael has passed and this would be a nice spot to come down and reflect," Freeman told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday morning.
The stretch of Highway 401 between Trenton, Ont., and Toronto was dedicated as the Highway of Heroes in September 2007, because it is the route along which fallen soldiers' remains were transported when returning from Afghanistan.
Kathy Bulger, who also lost a son in Afghanistan two years ago, said it is meaningful that the forthcoming Trenton memorial will be built through the donations of ordinary Canadians.
"If everybody contributed a little bit, this would be a complete success," Bulger told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday morning.
Her son, Cpl. Nick Bulger, died in July 2009, when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device.
Canadians who wish to make a donation to the memorial can do so through http://www.afghanistanmemorial.ca/, or by calling 613-392-0370.