The Memorial Design

The Design

The Memorial will be made of horizontal and vertical granite components. Both sides of the vertical granite component will contain an image of a Canadian soldier and an Afghan child reaching out to one another, with an inscription in English on one side and in French on the other. The horizontal component will be the Monument base, inscribed the names and dates of death of Canadian Armed Forces and Public Service personnel.

The Image

The image on the memorial was inspired by this photo of a Canadian soldier and an Afghan child taken by Reuters photographer Finbarr O’Reilly in Panjwaii on July 13, 2007. O’Reilly was born in Wales in 1971 and lived in Dublin, Ireland before moving to Vancouver with his family at the age of nine.

For more information on O’Reilly and to see more images, please click on the photo to be taken to his website.

Rights were provided by the photographer and Reuters and included the caption:

A Canadian soldier shakes hands with an Afghan boy during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army troops near Panjwaii village, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, July 13, 2007. Canadian troops from the Observer Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) are training the ANA as part of the NATO-led coalition’s efforts to strengthen Afghanistan’s national government and military.

The Soldier

The memorial society board had been trying for months to determine the identity of the soldier on the Finbarr O’Reilly photo. As the result of a press event held when the memorial arrived in Victoria, film footage broadcast by CTV – Vancouver Island was seen by the wife of the soldier. Lt. Michael McCauley of CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick is the soldier in the photo.

Afghanistan Memorial board chair, Brigadier General (Ret’d) JEL (Larry) Gollner met Lt. McCauley in Fredericton, NB in early June 2017. Arrangements have been made for Lt. McCauley to participate in the unveiling and dedication ceremony in Victoria on 30 September 2017.