Group to erect memorial
Airdronians may soon see a permanent memorial for fallen soldiers along the centre median of Veteran’s Boulevard on the city’s north end.
Airdrie City council unanimously approved the installation of a memorial, which will be located in the street’s centre median and will include two bronze monuments and a number of Canadian flags, during the Oct. 15 meeting.
The request was made by Alain Habel on behalf of the Kosovo Unit of the Canadian Army Veteran’s Motorcycle Unit, the group responsible for erecting crosses along the roadway in honour of Remembrance Day last year.
“We are extremely happy,” said Habel, president of the Kosovo Unit. “It’s a year-round identifier.”
According to Habel, the monument will help raise awareness about fallen soldiers’ sacrifices, a subject in danger of being forgotten, partly because there are few veterans remaining from the Second World War.
“The young crowd… they can ask their parents about (the memorial) when they drive by.”
Last September, council gave permission for the Kosovo Unit to erect temporary crosses to be installed along Veterans Boulevard between Main Street and the train tracks, the week prior to Remembrance Day.
The event attracted between 80 and 100 people including a number of Second World War veterans, local politicians and residents.
“You guys do a tremendous job,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “I got a huge amount of feedback. We had a 92-year-old veteran in tears because of what your are doing, so keep up the good work.”
The Kosovo Unit, which is made up of both military and non-military members, will pay for the permanent memorial and its upkeep. The not-for-profit society will raise the funds through donations and fundraising.
The memorial, which will be erected over five years with the installation of the first flagpole this fall, will include two monuments.
The monuments will represent both historical and modern fallen soldiers and will include a replica of a British 303 rifle and a variation of the M-16 rifle, the C7.
The monuments will also include headgear worn by many soldiers of the eras.
The monuments will be placed at either end of the military memorial along Veterans Boulevard.
According to Havel, the Kosovo Unit will once again erect crosses for fallen area soldiers before Remembrance Day.
A ceremony, which will include a parade by bikers and VIPs, will take place on Oct. 27. Anyone interested in attending is invited to meet at the Brewster’s parking lot at 10:30 a.m. for the ceremony.