After two years of hard work, Blackfalds has unveiled its monument to veterans from the Central Alberta town.
Veterans, cadets, Legion members, RCMP officers and the general public gathered at the new Abbey Centre, a multiplex facility, in Blackfalds on Friday to see the debut of the memorial.
The monument, a curved stone display, names 85 people from the area who served in wars and with Canadian forces dating back to the 1880s.
Judy Carleton, Blackfalds Historical Society president, said it is different from other types of monuments honouring veterans.
“Instead of just honouring the people who died in service, we’re naming the names of anybody who has served that lived in Blackfalds for a significant amount of time,” said Carleton. “That’s why we have 85 names on there. “We have four names on there of people who did die in service.”
Those four have a cross beside their name on the monument.
Retired Lt. Col. Andrew Moffat was called to offer a few words prior to the unveiling of the monument. He said it emits a love for the 85 people willing to give their lives for their neighbours, family and compatriots.
Around the monument is a nine-metre circle of concrete. Sandblasted along the circumference of the circle is the complete In Flanders Fields poem by John McRae.
Included in the monument are the names of people who served in the First and Second World Wars, in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and one person who served with Canada’s first militia in the 1880s. Carleton said she couldn’t find anyone who served in the Korean conflict. There is room on the monument for the addition of names if someone comes forward who has served, or for future veterans of wars.
The monument, created by Voyager Art and Tile, was paid for in part from a Veterans Affairs Canada war memorial grant and with financial help from the historical society.
A book was also produced detailing the life of each person who served and their service, with photos.