The years of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan are seen on the National War Memorial after a ceremony honouring Canadians who served and died during that mission, in Ottawa on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Canada marks fifth anniversary of end of Afghanistan mission

More than 40,000 Canadians in uniform served in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014

Canada’s top soldier says the country is still trying to learn how best to care for those wounded — physically and emotionally —in the war in Afghanistan.

Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance was among those at a service in Ottawa Sunday marking the fifth anniversary of the end of Canada’s mission.

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He said many who served have physical and psychological wounds.

He also said Canada has been trying to better help those mentally affected in the aftermath of the conflict.

National Silver Cross Mother Anita Cenerini also took part in the event Sunday at the National War Memorial.

Cenerini fought for years to have her son’s death recognized as related to his military service.

Thomas Welsh took his own life in 2004 after serving in Afghanistan. He was the first Canadian soldier to die by suicide after serving in the Afghan war.

Cenerini said she felt humbled by the sacrifices of so many families who lost loved ones, and was grateful to have their lives honoured at the National War Memorial — a physical place where she says remembering them is profound.

More than 40,000 Canadians in uniform served in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. A total of 158 members of the military and seven Canadian civilians were killed in the conflict.

The Canadian Press

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