Government of Canada unveils design for national monument to commemorate country’s mission in Afghanistan

The design for the national monument that will commemorate Canada's mission in Afghanistan has been unveiled by the Government of Canada.

Photo credit: Team Stimson

The Government of Canada recently unveiled the chosen design for the national monument to commemorate Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

The Government of Canada has selected the design and conceptual approach put forth by visual artist Adrian Stimson, landscape architects MBTW Group and public art coordinators LeuWebb Projects.

In 2001, Canada pledged its support to the global battle against terrorism and deployed its military forces to Afghanistan. Canada’s comprehensive involvement in Afghanistan lasted over ten years and was the country’s most intricate and fatal military mission since the Korean War. Over 40,000 Canadian soldiers and numerous civilians and government officials served in the region.

The winning design was announced on June 19 by Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, along with the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.

Photo credit: Team Stimson

The monument will be constructed opposite the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and will acknowledge the dedication and sacrifice of Canadians who served in Afghanistan, as well as the support they received from their fellow countrymen at home.

This decision of the winning design reflects input received from veterans, their families, and other mission participants.

Stimson, MBTW Group and LeuWebb Projects’ design draws inspiration from the healing aspects of the Medicine Wheel and takes the shape of a circular, sacred space representing safety—a place for reflection, remembrance, and contemplation. It comprises four gateways, with the inner area serving as a sanctuary where the fallen are honored.

Photo credit: Team Stimson

The walls of three quadrants are inscribed with the year, names of the fallen, and maple leaves arranged in multiple rows. The fourth southeast quadrant wall, facing Afghanistan, is dedicated to the fallen Afghan Allies. In the center, four bronze flak jackets are draped over crosses, serving as utilitarian yet poignant reminders of protection.

This monument will provide a compelling opportunity for Canadians to pay tribute, engage in reflection, and strive for equilibrium and healing.