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Afganistan Memorial Fragment

A plaque featuring a fragment of the marble base of the Memorial of the Fallen in Afghanistan was presented to The Manitoba Museum in April by the Commanding Officer of the Winnipeg Infantry Tactical Grouping (Royal Winnipeg Rifles and Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders). It will be on display in the museum’s foyer from November 9 to November 30.

Memorial of the Fallen, Kandahar Airfield

Memorial Plaque, Photograph by Hans Thater.

The original memorial was erected at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in 2006 and grew in symbolic importance over time as it evolved with the pace of operations. At the end of the Canadian combat operations, in June 2011, it contained plaques honouring all of the fallen in the Afghan theatre of Operations, including:

Canadian soldiers;

Allied soldiers serving under Canadian Command;

Members of the Canadian Government; and

One member of the Canadian Press Corps.

It was a living memorial that changed and expanded, and when families of the fallen started to visit Kandahar Airfield in 2009 for Remembrance Day, this cenotaph was a focal point of the ceremonies.

Memorial of the Fallen, Kandahar Airfield

Memorial of the Fallen, Kandahar Airfield

The Memorial of the Fallen has attained national significance, and in early December, 2011, it was repatriated to Canada. It is scheduled to be unveiled in its new permanent home in Ottawa in 2014.

Lieutenant Colonel B.W. Takeuchi wrote in a letter to the museum, “This simple piece [of the cenotaph] represents the essence of Canada’s effort and sacrifice in maintaining world peace and helping the citizens of Afghanistan.”

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Roland Sawatzky

Curator of History

See Full Biography

Roland Sawatzky joined The Manitoba Museum in 2011. Roland received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Winnipeg, M.A. in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina, and Ph.D. in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University (2005). Roland conducts research, is responsible for acquisitions, and develops exhibits related to the settlement period in Manitoba, including the development of Winnipeg. His research interests include the social meaning of material culture, 19th Century settlement in Manitoba, life in the home and historical archaeology.