Those who have served in the Canadian Forces from the Grande Prairie region will be honoured with a memorial this weekend. The unveiling ceremony for an Afghanistan War Monument will be held at Army, Navy & Airforce Community Centre at 3 p.m.
Project Lead Renee Charbonneau says she is proud of how the first phase of the work came together.
“Now it will be up to the community to appreciate stage one. Based on the amount of support we’ve had to get to this point, I’m blown away. It’s so heart-warming to live in a community and region that, even though we don’t have an armed forces base anymore, they still understand and respect our military. That’s really important.”
Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans of Canada donated the land for the 5,000 lbs black and grey marble monument to be built on. On the structure, 158 names of the soldiers that have fallen in the Afghanistan War are engraved. There are also four memorials for Master Corporal Timothy Wilson, Master Corporal Raymond Arndt, Corporal Josh Caleb Baker, and Corporal Zachery McCormack.
There are two more phases in the works for the project. Charbonneau plans to ramp up work in the coming months.
“Next year, we start with 28,000 square feet of sidewalk, 45 trees, 90 shrubs, and then bulbs, plants and all sorts of things.”
Charbonneau says they have partnered with the Canadian Fallen Heroes Program. They will help in putting in points-of-interest within the memorial.
The event this weekend put on by the ANAVETS and the Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Units will feature the Loyal Edmonton Regime Pipe & Drum Band. A social gathering will be held following the ceremony at 4:15 p.m.