New veterans’ memorial unveiled in Blackfalds

Ceremony commemorating opening took place last week

  • May. 29, 2014 3:00 p.m.
PAYING RESPECT - Lacombe Legion President Jim Pratt lays a wreath at the newly unveiled Blackfalds Veterans’ Memorial.

PAYING RESPECT - Lacombe Legion President Jim Pratt lays a wreath at the newly unveiled Blackfalds Veterans’ Memorial.

Last week, in conjunction with the grand opening of the Abbey Centre, the Blackfalds and Area Historical Society unveiled a new monument commemorating Blackfalds’ veterans. The monument, constructed just outside the Abbey Centre, displays the names of 85 veterans who lived in Blackfalds or the surrounding area for at least some of their lifetime.

The monument resembles a curved concrete wall covered in a glass mosaic depicting poppies and birds. Also on the wall are four large plaques depicting the names of Blackfalds’ veterans. Space has been left on the last plaque to add the names of any more veterans as well.

“It’s beautiful,” said Judy Carleton, president of the Blackfalds and Area Historical Society. “It’s a very stunning visual piece of artwork.”

Carleton said the monument is uncommon because most veteran monuments were built in the 1940s and 50s. It is quite rare for a new one to be built.

Not only that, but Carleton said most monuments only name those who were killed during the wars, while the monument in Blackfalds names everyone from the area who served. Those who were killed in action are recognized on the monument with a cross next to their names, said Carleton. She added there are four individuals recognized on the monument who are still alive.

These qualities make the monument somewhat special, she added, especially considering this year is the 100-year anniversary of the First World War.

Carleton came up with the idea for the monument project after learning that funding was available for such initiatives through Veterans Affairs. She also said she felt it was something the community would get behind because previously Blackfalds had nowhere to host Remembrance Day services or any kind of public art that was historical in nature.

“It was quite a bit bigger than most projects we usually do but we are very happy with the result.”

In addition to spearheading the project to bring this new memorial to Blackfalds, Carleton also authored a book to go with it. She compiled the stories of the individuals immortalized on the memorial so that people would be able to remember more than just their names.

“Most people today if they read the names on (the monument) they wouldn’t know who they were or anything about them,” said Carleton.

It is important to have monuments such as this and recognize the sacrifice made by Canada’s veterans, she added, especially because they often don’t get the recognition they deserve. Carleton said that members of her generation and those younger will probably never fully understand what veterans sacrificed so Canadians could enjoy the freedoms and privileges we do today.

Those who spoke at the unveiling ceremony were of a similar mind. The ceremony was full of emotional speeches from politicians and veterans. Each individual who spoke made mention of the sacrifices made by veterans and the important of remembering.

Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins, Member of the Legislative Assembly Rod Fox and Mayor Melodie Stol all spoke at the unveiling. Calkins said that the only way for people to repay the country’s veterans is by remembering.

“We owe our veterans an enormous debt,” said Calkins. “A debt that can only be paid through remembrance and never forgetting the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women.”

Fox commented on how Canada would not be the same as it is today without the sacrifices made by veterans.

“In many ways, we are here because they were there – and we can never forget,” said Fox.

On the veteran side, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew C. Moffat and Royal Canadian Legion past President Hugh Greene were in attendance for the unveiling. Two of the surviving veterans named on the monument, Robert Evans and Ken Long (both from Lacombe), as well as several other members of the Legion were also in attendance. Moffat spoke of how the monument is more than just a symbol of remembrance, it is also a symbol of love.

“It emits a love almost beyond understanding,” said Moffat. “The love of 85 people who were prepared to give themselves for their country and their neighbours and compatriots. That sort of love is very special and very rare.”

After the speeches, the monument was unveiled and those in attendance paid their respects with a moment of silence. Wreathes and poppies were then laid at the monument at the close of the ceremony.


Just Posted

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Photo Courtesy: Echo Lacombe Association logo.
Lacombe City Council supports Echo Lacombe with location for pilot program

Echo Lacombe Association will run a pilot propgram on food rescue until November, 1, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

File Photo
Blackfalds RCMP seeking suspects in traffic collision

RCMP are asking the public for help identifing two suspects wanted for multiple offences

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Most Read