Mr. Speaker, on this day in 2006, Captain Nichola Goddard was killed in Afghanistan. During the war, Canadians would gather along the Highway of Heroes as fallen soldiers made their final journey home. This public demonstration of pride in our forces was overwhelming.
Veterans, their families and Canadians have been waiting for the Afghan Memorial, which was originally built in Kandahar, to be displayed publicly where we can all, as a grateful nation, remember their sacrifice.
A working group in 2011 considered sanctity to be the most important aspect of the memorial, followed by visibility and accessibility. The opposite has happened. We have learned that the government has chosen to hide the memorial behind closed doors at DND headquarters.
There was a secret dedication service that no one knew about until it was posted on Facebook three days after it happened. Not even family members of the fallen were invited.
Instead of seeing it placed proudly in a public area, family members and the public will have to request an appointment. This is shameful. The Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Minister of National Defence, a veteran himself, must reverse this decision. Veterans and the families of the fallen deserve so much more than the government is giving them.