London will play a very special role in a new program rolling out next year that will pay tribute to Canada’s armed forces
Replicas of the LAV-3, which were built here in London and used during the Afghan mission, will soon become monuments to be put on display at communities and businesses across Canada.
Fanshawe College students will assemble the vehicle shells using spare parts from General Dynamics Land Systems and then communities and businesses will need to apply to the non-profit group spear-heading the program, Canada Company, to get one.
“Whenever we do the upgrade there are a lot of what we call ‘remnant parts’,” says General Dynamics Land Systems Spokesperson Ken Yamishita.
“Part of that is the hull of the LAV-3s. Without this program what would happen with these parts is they would become demilitarized and scrapped which would be a shame. And this is where Canada Company determined, why don’t we use these as monuments?”
Remembrance has been top of mind for Canadians in light of the tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo in late October and up to 250 communities and businesses are expected to apply for one of the monuments.
“Recent events in Quebec and Ottawa have reminded citizens of the sacrifices that the Canadian Armed Forces have made,” Yamashita explains.
“It does focus things back on to the sacrifice that soldiers made in Afghanistan and like I say, General Dynamics, we’re proud to have provided the vehicles in Afghanistan for that.”
The monuments will cost between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on where they need to be shipped to and officials hope to have some ready to go by the spring.
With files from Natalie Lovie.