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Afghanistan Memorial Hall Dedicated at National Defence Headquarters

Official Department of National Defence release –

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) held a dedication service at the new Afghanistan Memorial Hall at the National Defence Headquarters (Carling) on 13 May, 2019. The event was attended by the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Deputy Minister of National Defence, General and Flag Officers, Chief Petty Officers and Chief Warrant Officers, and Assistant Deputy Ministers.

The focal point of the hall is the Kandahar Airfield (KAF) Cenotaph battlefield memorial, built by deployed CAF members over the course of their mission to honour the military and civilian Fallen who made the ultimate sacrifice during Canada’s long campaign in Afghanistan.

The Hall and the memorial are not open to the general public, but will be made accessible to families of the Fallen upon request. A national memorial to commemorate the Afghanistan mission is being planned for Ottawa to serve as a point of reflection for the Canadian public as a whole.

Please note that although the Afghanistan Memorial Hall is currently open to DND/CAF personnel, its access will be restricted once the construction and landscaping work commences around the building. Visits will resume as soon as occupational health and safety regulations permit it.

The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan makes a speech during the Afghanistan Memorial Hall Opening Ceremony at NDHQ(Carling) on 13 May 2019. Photo Credit: Master Corporal Levarre McDonald, Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) © 2019 DND-MDN, Canada


“This cenotaph, created originally by CAF members in Afghanistan to honour their fallen comrades in arms, now sits in its home at National Defence Headquarters. Here it will always recognize the service and sacrifice of our Canadian Armed Forces members, our Allies, and their families. As Canadians, we honour those who defend our freedom and the values we cherish.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence


“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.”

General Jonathan H. Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff


Quick Facts

  • The KAF Cenotaph battlefield memorial was repatriated to Canada following a National Day of Honour in November 2011. The memorial toured Canada and Washington, DC, to allow members of the public to pay their respects.
  • The Afghanistan Memorial Hall is a purpose-built pavilion made to permanently house the cenotaph.
  • Canada’s military engagement in Afghanistan came at a significant cost: 158 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, a Canadian diplomat, a DND contractor, a Canadian journalist who was embedded with the CAF, and 40 United States Armed Forces members who were under Canadian command were killed during our military engagement in Afghanistan. Thousands of others were injured in the line of duty.


Associated Links

Canada in Afghanistan (2001-2014)



Media Relations – Department of National Defence


Photos: CFSU(O) IMAGING SERVICES/Master Corporal Levarre McDonald

This post is also available in: Français (French)

Latest comments

  • As quoted “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.”
    And yet you make accessibility to this memorial very restrictive to the members of the CAF and families of the fallen and not at all to the general population of Canada who’s sons, daughters, mothers, brothers, fathers and sisters this monument honours.
    Why, if I may ask, was this not put at the National War Museum? Where people from across Canada could pay respects to our friends, comrades in arms, and family members?
    If not for the general population of Canada we would not have the support that has been shown to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces time and time again and this seclusion of the memorial is an affront to that support.
    As a serving member having this locked away at NDHQ 2 (Carling) makes paying respect to the fallen a five hour return ride using the shuttle service during working hours and that is IF permission is received from CoC to attend the memorial. (we know about the lack of parking)
    I am honoured to have been able to pay my respects to fallen comrades at both ramp ceremonies and at the cenotaph while in KAF, for I know that I will not have the opportunity to do so while in Ottawa.


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