By Mark Squibb/September 16, 2021
A much-anticipated war monument landed in CBS this past week— literally.
Contractors had to use a large crane to lift the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III, which weighs 16 tons when fully operational, from the truck bed that it had arrived on and onto the recently constructed monument platform near the town’s cenotaph in Long Pond.
Wayne Miller, who along with Kathleen LeGrow, was instrumental in securing the funding for the LAV III monument, was on hand to watch its arrival.
“I have goosebumps,” said Miller, looking on as workers gingerly secured the massive vehicle in place. “I got the call from the military, they said, ‘We got some good new for you.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s great, should I sit down?’ And then they said, ‘It’s being loaded on the flatbed, and it’s on its way to Conception Bay South.’ And I was overjoyed. So, I left the house and came down.”
The Monument Committee secured the heavy vehicle about three years ago. The monument that will hold it was then shipped from London, Ontario, to Montreal, where it was then shipped to St. John’s. For the past year, it has been held in storage at the Garrison in Pleasantville, while CBS crews readied the pavilion on which it was to be placed.
The Canadian made LAV III could reach speeds above 100 kilometres per hour, despite its massive size, and protected soldiers against enemy firepower during the Afghanistan War. It is the modern-day equivalent of a RAM Tank Kangaroo Carrier developed by Canadian Troops during the invasion of Normandy in World War II for use by Allied Forces.
The LAV III Monument Program provided 30 full-size LAV III’s to municipalities across Canada to recognize the service and sacrifice of the Canadian Armed Forces during the Afghanistan War. The Conception Bay South monument is the last of the 30 to be dedicated, and the only one of its kind in the province.
Miller hopes people take notice of the monument, and what it stands for.
“I hope people will appreciate the sacrifices that our soldiers and military people made,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about— commemorating the veterans of Afghanistan, and the sacrifices that Canada, and Newfoundland, made to the war in Afghanistan.”
Canadian soldiers landed in Afghanistan in 2001, and Canada officially withdrew all troops in 2014. More than 40,000 Canadians fought in the war. One hundred and fifty-eight Canadian soldiers, along with seven Canadian civilians, were killed during the war.