LAV III gets monument in city where vehicles were built
It’s a vehicle for peacekeeping, serving as a mobile home for thousands of soldiers and saving lives — and it’s made in London.
The LAV III light armoured vehicle that served in Afghanistan with Canadian troops, now has its own monument, taking its place on a cold, snowy morning Friday outside the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London.
“We are glad it is here. There is something now recognizing veterans, not only our fallen but all who have served. We are happy,” said Sean Wilson, whose brother of Trooper Mark Wilson was killed in 2006 at age 39 while serving in Afghanistan, speaking at the monument unveiling ceremony.
The LAV III Monument Program is an important reminder of the conflict in Afghanistan where 162 Canadians were killed, he added.
“My brother lived in this for months. It’s a great idea for a monument,” said Wilson, gesturing to the LAV III.
The monument is part of Canada Company’s LAV III Monument Program, which provides de-militarized replica light-armored vehicles to communities across Canada in recognition of 40,000 soldiers who served in Canadian peacekeeping missions.
London’s monument is one of 33 approved to be erected across the country.
“It is important we recognize the sacrifice of Canadians, it is important we have monuments where people can come, pay respects and remember and learn from history,” said Blake Goldring, founder and chairperson of Canada Company, a support agency for Canadian soldiers and their families.
“It was very complex—there was co-operation, there was a sense of community,” that made the monument event happen, he added.
The LAV Ill was built by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada on Oxford Street. To turn the vehicles into monuments, turrets and hulls have been welded at Militex Coatings in London by welding students from Fanshawe College.