Honouring animals in conflict
Animals have always had a place in military conflicts, whether by accident or design. In early November, special plaques and a bronze statue were unveiled in Ottawa to honour the service of animals in war.
"As a tribute to the efforts of animals who served during crucial battles, we honour their unwavering loyalty, dedicated service, and strong companionship during difficult times" said Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney at the dedication.
A variety of animals were used during war. Mules carried supplies and artillery; horses hauled field guns; carrier pigeons delivered messages to specific destinations; and dogs worked as messengers, medical assistants, mine detectors and in search and rescue. Dogs are still employed by the Canadian Armed Forces today.
"With this dedication, we have ensured that the efforts and sacrifices of animals in war will be recognized today and in the future," said Lloyd Swick, Founder of the Animals in War Dedication Project.
The Government of Canada contributed more than $98,000 toward the creation and unveiling of the Animals in War Dedication, located in Confederation Park, in downtown Ottawa. Laureen Harper is the honorary patron of the project.
In the image above, Canadian soldiers walk with their dog as they arrive at a base near the village of Nakhonay in Panjwai district, southern Afghanistan.
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