Commemorative vehicle visits Labrador West

Ty Dunham
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A special trip was made to visit the mother of James Kennedy, honored on Vehicle #9, a memorial car dedicated to soldiers of Newfoundland who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

The latest memorial car from Canadian Heroes rolled into Labrador West last week, visiting the families of soldiers from Newfoundland who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Vehicle #9 is the ninth vehicle to be wrapped in a commemorative display honoring soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

A special visit was made in Wabush to visit Kay Kennedy, mother of Kevin Vincent Kennedy who lost his life in 2007.

“To see Kevin on the side of the vehicle with that grin and a gleam in his eye with the rest of the fallen soldiers, I got so emotional and I broke down.”

Kennedy said it was a wonderful tribute to her son and his fallen comrades.

“It means so much to know that Kevin will never be forgotten; this vehicle travelling, people will see his portrait on the side on the vehicle and they'll know who Kevin Kennedy was. It's so beautiful, the way it's done up and wrapped, it's just unreal.”

Kevin Kennedy grew up in St. Lawrence, and moved to Labrador West with his mother in 2005. Shortly after graduating he joined the military. He was released in 2006, but six months later he rejoined his fellow soldiers. He was in Afghanistan for nine weeks when he was killed at the age of 20.

Canadian Heroes president and CEO Chris Ecklund contacted Kennedy personally and told her that Kevin would be honored on the vehicle.

“He would be so proud, to know his name will be carried on from generation to generation,” she said. “It’s surreal that someone would honour our soldiers this way from his own pocket. It's hard to describe how I feel about it.”

Kennedy said she would never forget seeing the vehicle for the first time.

“I was so surprised, him travelling all the way to Labrador, especially not being familiar with the road or anything. I couldn't believe they would take the time to drive out all this way and show me this vehicle.”

Mike Bennett made the trip from Hamilton, Ontario, and Labrador West was his first stop on a long journey across Newfoundland and Labrador to visit the families in of each soldier honored on Vehicle #9.

“Canadian Heroes is a tribute to all who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice, and also to the one who has come back injured physically and/or mentally,” Bennet said. “This commemorates them, and this vehicle is dedicated to the province of NL.”

Nine vehicles each featuring different wraps we donated. The vehicles are used by raising awareness at schools, parades, events, and funerals of the fallen and of veterans.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Wabush, Afghanistan Ontario

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