By Randy Hedlund
On Monday evening, April 23, a small group of community officials, Legion members and members of the public gathered for a formal decommissioning of the cenotaph in Clearwater.
Originally built by Loyd Bishop, Richard Willan, and Rick Kintzinger in the early 1990s to provide an outside area for members of the Legion, Scouts, Guides and the general public to pay appropriate homage, the monument stood as an enduring sentry, giving dignity for soldiers and others who have served their country and their community, giving everything they could possibly give.
It is a physical, humble reminder of their sacrifice that we have all gained so much by.
A most befitting benefit of this monument is that it has also given the families of these men and women a place for solace – a place to reunite.
Those lost have friends and family many miles distant from where they have been laid to rest. Many are included in that long list of those who have sought comfort from this magnetic beacon of humbling sentiment, seeking a place of refuge to interact with those heroes of our past.
While it is considered a ward of municipal government, it is for the benefit of all that have the privilege of having a short or long stay in our most beautiful community.
The cenotaph is being removed to make way for a new well-house.
The timing is impeccable as it, with its enduring beauty, was coming near the end of its day through weather-related fatigue.
It seems only fitting somehow, that this year being the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War, that this town will be able to erect a registered cenotaph on this site.
This will allow us to continue to honour those who were prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice for their families, friends, and beliefs – defending the way of life that has so spoiled us with its glory and richness.
On this day we allowed this sentry to rest and make way for a new monument to show many generations to come that war must not come easily.