The Royal
Canadian Legion

Ontario : Branch 530 - Waterloo.

 

Home

News

All News
Branch News
RCL
Poppy Fund
Ways / Means
Executive
Finance
B.D.M.
Membership
Sick / Visiting
Seniors
Entertainment
Sports
Canteen
Afghanistan
Veterans
Miscellaneous
Humour

News Letters
Photo Gallery
Video Gallery
 

 

News - Afghanistan - 20 Jun 2012

News Item 8 of 28 

Afghanistan: 20 Jun 2012
Trenton Memorial supported by Legion

Afghanistan veteran J.R. Smith (right) meets royal Canadian Legion president Gordon Moore following Monday's sod turning for the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial held at Bain Park in Trenton. Smith lost 21 close friends in Afghanistan. Their names will be carved on the granite memorial.

TRENTON - Veteran J. R. Smith lost 21 of his closest friends in Afghanistan.

Their names will be permanently carved into the granite face of the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial.

A few seconds after he climbed to the podium, Smith's voice began to tremble.

“You'll have to excuse me, this is pretty emotional,” he said.

After a few words, the Barrie resident proudly presented a cheque for a little more than $2,000 to Quinte West Mayor John Williams.

It was money raised by the Shell Shocked Motorcycle Club, formed only a few months ago. Smith is one of the founders of the club.

About 200 people were at Monday's official sod turning for the memorial.

Construction began the same afternoon. The national memorial will be completed in time for Remembrance Day.

The memorial will be constructed in Bain Park overlooking the Bay of Quinte.

It's just a few hundred metres from where the caskets containing the remains of Smith's friends were repatriated to Canada.

“This is a fantastic site,” said Smith, looking at the concept drawing. “This will be great and we'll keep on raising money until the campaign is done.”

Smith retired from the forces in October, 2011. He served with 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

“I went over in 2006. It was tough. I already know 21 people whose names will be on this monument,” said Smith.

Three parents who lost sons in Afghanistan held shovels as photographers hastily took photos.

Wearing a cameo containing a picture of her son and the medal identifying her as a Silver Cross Mother, Darlene Cushman said her son would be proud to have his name on the memorial.

Her son, Trooper Darryl Caswell, was killed June 11, 2007 in a roadside bombing incident. The Bowmanville native served Royal Canadian Dragoons, based at CFB Petawawa.

“Darryl loved the military. He believed in what he was doing,” said Cushman.

She described the memorial as a beautiful project in a fantastic setting. She said the memorial will help grieving military families

“I miss him every minute of every day,” said Cushman.

Mark Freeman and Cathy Bulger were also at the ceremony. Both lost sons in Afghanistan, as well. Both said they look forward to seeing the memorial completed.

Cpl. Nicholas Bulger, a member of the 3rd Batalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was killed July 3, 2009 when an improvised explosive device detonated.

Pte. Michael Freeman, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, was killed Dec. 26, 2008 during the detonation of an explosive device.

Royal Canadian Legion president Gordon Moore was at Monday's ceremony.

Moore announced that Legion branches across the country will donate a portion of their Poppy Funds to the memorial fund raising campaign.

“There were 158 men and women from every province killed in Afghanistan. We have an obligation to support our veterans and the fallen,” said Moore. “We'll make sure the project is completed on time.”

The campaign was launched in July, 2011. More than $600,000 of the $1.5 needed to construct the memorial has been raised.

Former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister Hugh O'Neil conceived the idea for the memorial in 2010 and Williams has spear-headed the national campaign.

Williams told the crowd the reaction to the fundraiser has been fantastic.

“This has been a community project, led by volunteers. Hundreds of people from across the country have come on board,” he said.

The memorial was designed by Campbell Monuments in Belleville. Drain Brothers Construction will build and develop the site.


URTRENTON/jm
 

Read 18186 times.

Member Comments on this Article.


None

 

 

        News Item 8 of 28   
     

Search News :

 

 

 

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS - WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS

TOP BACK TO TOP | ABOUT US | NEWS | ACTIVITIES| MEMBERS | LINKS | LEST WE FORGET | HOME


Contact Us


Guest Book


 

Web Hosted By
Mail Services By
  

Copyright: Royal Canadian Legion, Waterloo (Branch 530) Ontario 2021
Daily Visitors: Since Inception Oct 30, 2007  1659032, This Month 5937, Today 174
ADMIN

Special thanks to...
Non-Profit Web Hosting
provided by myhosting.com