The LAV III monument was unveiled Nov. 9 in London. Photo from City of London.

Monument honours CAF peacekeeping missions

The City of London is home to a new monument.

The LAV III monument was unveiled in a ceremony Nov. 9 in a partnership between the municipality, the Canada Company, the 31 Canadian Brigade Group, Department of National Defense, The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, and London Heritage Council.

The monument will honour the service of Canadian Armed Forces in peacekeeping missions.

“This LAV III monument will serve as a constant reminder of the bravery and selflessness of our service men and women,” said mayor Matt Brown. “It is just one small thing we can do to acknowledge those who made the ultimate sacrifice for peacekeeping and protecting our freedoms.

The LAV III monument program provides de-militarized replica light-armored vehicles (LAV) to communities across Canada. The monuments are in recognition of the 40,000 soldiers who served in Canadian peacekeeping missions.

Local trooper Mark Andrew Wilson was killed by an IED during a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan Oct. 2006. His family sees the monument as a testament to his service.

“Mark’s sacrifice, as well as all the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives represented here, will never be forgotten,” said Sean Wilson, Mark’s brother. “‘Their names will liveth for evermore.”

The LAV III monument is extra special to London because the LAV IIIs used by the CAF are built right here in London at General Dynamics Land Systems. To turn retired LAVs into monuments the turrets and hulls are welded at London’s Militex Coatings by Fanshawe College students.

Maintenance or any ongoing costs will come from the City’s Public Art Maintenance Fund. Commemorative programming and educational programs will be provided by the RCR Museum.

The live stream of the ceremony can be viewed online.