Monday, 11 April 2011

Calgary Soldiers Memorial Unveiled

From the Calgary Sun. A new war memorial has been unveiled in Calgary.

Many of the men commemorated for the First World War would have been Scots such as William McCubbing of Beeswing near Dalbeattie who had been in the Calgary Rifles and died of wounds in France in 1918 whilst serving with the 50th Bn CEF.

Emotions stoked with soldier memorial unveiling
By DAVE DORMER, Calgary Sun

Last Updated: April 9, 2011

We lived.

Felt dawn.

Saw sunset glow.

Unveiled Saturday just west of the 10 St. bridge, those words are etched on the Calgary Soldiers’ Memorial — six large, stone tablets engraved with the names of more than 3,000 soldiers from six Calgary regiments killed in First and Second World Wars and Afghanistan.

Three of those names — Sgt. Arthur Knight, Pvt. Harry Brown and Pvt. John Pattison — are recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour awarded by Commonwealth countries.

“It’s, really, really important for us to have these things so we can reflect on them individually,” said Michael Hornburg, whose son, Nathan — a member of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment — was killed Sept. 24, 2007 in Afghanistan.

“I think, even for myself, who remembers my son every hour and moment of the day, to come to a site like this, it’s a very, very powerful reminder that all these losses ... I know they meant something to lots of people who were close to individual soldiers and I wouldn’t want any of them to ever become a mere statistic.”

The christening comes on the 94th anniversary of the Canadian attack in France that wrested Vimy Ridge from its German defenders.

Part of the Memorial Drive Landscape of Memory, the monument is across from Mewata Armoury, where many of the soldiers whose names are now etched on the tablets trained.

“I’m just so overwhelmed by it,” said Hornburg.

“Every single panel is a work of art in an of itself, they’ve very beautiful.”

The memorial should be meaningful to everyone who sees it, said Lt. Col. (ret.) Bill Schultz, who served 42 years with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment.

“I hope they get a sense that the freedom that they enjoy now and in the future did not come without a cost,” he said.

“I know people say they don’t want to have an election now, but at least we can have an election.

“The ability to run down the bike paths, the ability to go cycling, the ability to go up to the mountains, all of that was bought with a price and those names on that wall gave the price.”

The memorial includes all army reserve units based in Calgary — the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, 41 Combat Engineer Regiment, 746 (Calgary) Communications Squadron, Calgary Highlanders, 14 (Calgary) Service Battalion and 15 Field Ambulance.

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