Afghanistan Memorial Hall

Closure Notice for Holiday Season

Please note that the Afghanistan Memorial Hall will be closed to the public from December 21, 2019 until January 6, 2020.
The Kandahar Cenotaph rests within the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at National Defence Headquarters (Carling), in Ottawa. It was created in 2006 as a grassroots endeavour by soldiers to honour their fallen brothers and sisters at the Canadian Task Force Headquarters located at the Kandahar Airfield (KAF), in Afghanistan.

How to visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall

Access by families of the Fallen

Guided visits to the Afghanistan Memorial Hall for families of Canada’s Fallen in Afghanistan began on May 26, 2019 and will continue under separate arrangements. These visits are prioritized and coordinated outside of visits by members of the public.

Access by Veterans and members of the public

Guided tours of the Afghanistan Memorial Hall for Veterans and members of the public are conducted by Canadian Armed Forces personnel. Individuals who wish to visit must register a minimum of 48 hours in advance as per instructions below.

Access by National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) (Carling) occupants

Members of the Defence Team working at NDHQ (Carling) may visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at any time during business hours - 8 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday. Guided tours for groups or individuals are highly recommended. Personnel can book theirs via email at VisitorAfghanMemorial-visiteurmemorialAfghan@forces.gc.ca.

Registration steps

  1. Send an email to VisitorAfghanMemorial-VisiteurMemorialAfghan@forces.gc.ca with the following information:
    • Your full name as indicated on government ID;
    • The full names of guests (guests under the age of 18 can be accompanied by an adult with government ID and therefore do not need their own ID);
    • The full names of guests who are Veterans;
    • Organization name if applicable;
    • Three options of availability for your visit. (Please note that if you only pick one choice and it is full, you may not be placed into that group. We will not place you in a group that you did not choose);
    • Your preferred official language for the tour (French/English); and
    • Any mobility issues.
  2. Requests will be processed within the next two business days and a confirmation email will be sent as soon as possible.
  3. For individuals registered to visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall, free parking is available after 3 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. For visits scheduled prior to 3 pm during the week, there are pay and display parking metres onsite.
  4. The designated entrance for visitors is Gatehouse 1 at NDHQ (Carling). Please view the map for detailed directions of the site.

Hours of operation for guided tours

Guided visits for Veterans and members of the public last 90 minutes and take place during the following hours:

  • Weekdays
    • Starting at 3:30 pm until 5 pm
  • Saturdays:
    • Starting at 9:30 am until 11:00 am;
    • At 1 pm until 2:30 pm; and
    • At 3:30 pm until 5 pm

A reminder that individuals must register 48 hours in advance and be present at the start time of their designated visit to be included in the tour.

Background

Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan came at a significant cost: 158 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, a Canadian diplomat, a Department of National Defence contractor, a Canadian journalist who was embedded with the Canadian Armed Forces, 42 United States armed forces members and one civilian contractor who were under Canadian command were killed during the conflict.

The Kandahar Cenotaph was built by military members serving in Afghanistan to honour the memory of the military members and civilians who died during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. The Kandahar Cenotaph was transported to Canada at the end of Canada’s mission in March 2011. The Kandahar Cenotaph is now located in a purpose-built pavilion at National Defence Headquarters (Carling) in Ottawa.

Official ceremonies were held on May 13, 2019 and August 17, 2019 to open the Afghanistan Memorial Hall and rededicate the Kandahar Cenotaph, respectively. Families of the Fallen, Veterans and their families, Canadian Armed Forces members and Department of National Defence employees, and members of the public are invited to visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall and pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many people can visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at the same time?

    A maximum of 45 members of the public can partake in a visit.

  2. How are visitors brought to the Afghanistan Memorial Hall?

    Canadian Armed Forces escorts meet visitors at the designated entry/exit point to National Defence Headquarters (Carling) (Gate 1). Visitors are guided to the Afghanistan Memorial Hall and back to entry/exit point at the end of the visit. Construction is underway onsite and each group moves under the direction of the Canadian Armed Forces escorts.

  3. What can visitors expect to happen during their visit?

    Canadian Armed Forces personnel explain the significance of the Afghanistan Memorial Hall and the Kandahar Cenotaph. Visitors can take the time to view the commemorative plaques, which feature a portrait and personal information on each of the Fallen. Visitors are also provided some time for personal reflection while inside the Afghanistan Memorial Hall.

  4. Is there a cost to visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall?

    There is no cost to visit the Afghanistan Memorial Hall. 

To provide feedback, please email VisitorAfghanMemorial-VisiteurMemorialAfghan@forces.gc.ca.

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