Moving addition to cenotaph unveiled in Stratford, P.E.I.

·2 min read
The outlines of combat boots represent fallen soldiers from the Stratford area. (Town of Stratford - image credit)
The outlines of combat boots represent fallen soldiers from the Stratford area. (Town of Stratford - image credit)

A moving tribute to local soldiers was unveiled this week in Stratford, P.E.I., as an addition at the town's cenotaph by town hall.

The project is what's described as an "honour roll" of 10 metal panels on the ground along the walkway leading to the war memorial, each with the name of a soldier from the area who either died in combat or died of their injuries after returning home.

"It is a really, really neat project," said Kevin Reynolds, director of planning, development and heritage with Stratford. He managed the project, along with the town's heritage sub-committee, for the last couple of years.

"The town's been looking for a number of years for a way to have these names stand out a little more than just have them on the cenotaph itself."

The metal panels display the soldier's names, the war in which they served and a cutout outline of boots they might have worn.

"The empty boots represent the soldier that's no longer there," Reynolds said.

'Paid the ultimate sacrifice'

When the sun shines, it creates shadows of each panel, projecting the cutout image of the boots and the soldiers' names onto the new path to the cenotaph.

Town of Stratford
Town of Stratford

"You're walking past the 10 soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, which in essence are forming their own honour guard as people approach the cenotaph," Reynolds said.

There are also two interpretive panels that tell the personal stories of the soldiers — one panel each for the First World War and Second World War.

Family members of two of the soldiers attended a ceremony earlier this week to unveil the project. A granddaughter of William Joseph Stewart spoke about the effects on her family of her grandfather not returning from war. A grand-nephew of Daniel W. McInnis read a poem called Thoughts of Home written by his great-uncle while fighting overseas.

"It's been many, many years since the wars have ended, but the memories of the individuals that gave that ultimate sacrifice need to be kept alive," Reynolds said. "This is a great way to be able to do that."

The town received help with funding for the project from Veterans Affairs Canada, which enabled them to hire a designer to come up with and execute the idea.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting