A monument commemorating members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who served in Afghanistan was unveiled by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Veterans Memorial Garden, St. Thomas, Ont.
Sudbury-based sculptor Tyler Fauvelle (www.tylerfauvelle.ca) created the life-sized bronze. “It’s a privilege for me to install this artwork during the Remembrance period,” said Fauvelle. “This sculpture is about connection. The Great War Memorial and the Cenotaph are both in the soldier’s line of sight. The sacrifices made of life, mind, body and spirit are connected through time, because freedom still has the same price.”
More than forty thousand CAF personnel served in Afghanistan from 2001-2014, the largest deployment since the Second World War. The first female CAF member to die in combat was among the 158 who died in that mission, which included humanitarian work.
The St. Thomas War Memorial Site Committee commissioned the new memorial. The committee comprises former serving members of the Elgin Regiment, 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins), and members of Branch 41 Royal Canadian Legion.
“Recognition of our Veterans in a meaningful and tangible way is important for us all,” said Herb Warren, committee Chairman. “The addition of this beautiful memorial, set along with the World War One Memorial and the Cenotaph, is a fitting remembrance of all who have served.”
Tyler with Tom Thomson
Tyler Fauvelle has been a professional sculptor since 2008. He created the Stompin’ Tom sculpture in Downtown Sudbury. Other artwork to date commemorates military and cultural heroes and Canadian mining pioneers. His military bronzes include public commemorations of Francis Pegahmagabow (most highly-decorated Indigenous hero of the Great War and First Nations rights activist), and Charles Henry Byce (most highly-decorated Indigenous hero of the Second World War). Fauvelle’s artwork We See Thee Rise, a montage of War of 1812 heroes, is on permanent display at the Heritage Discovery Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.