Afghan memorial nearly finished
Close to 1,000 people could be in attendance for the unveiling of the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial next month – including more than 100 family members of soldiers killed in the war-torn country.
Mayor John Williams said he is expecting between 800 and 900 guests for the official unveiling of the memorial Nov. 10.
“We have sent out a ton of invitations and some people are still calling us to confirm their attendance,” said Williams Friday morning.
Finishing touches, including lamp posts and flag poles are wrapping up at the Bain Park site.
Williams said 600 people have confirmed so far – including high ranking military and government officials.
“There will also be 160 family members attending and that is really important to us,” said Williams.
The memorial itself is almost completed. The last pieces, the maple leaves and likeness of a soldier carved from granite, will be installed next week.
Three large pieces of granite have traveled more than 11,000 kilometres on their way from India.
“It is beautiful work,” said Gary Foster, vice-president of the Campbell Monument Co., who viewed the pieces of granite on their arrival in Canada.
“The granite is very nice, really high quality.”
The granite is about one foot thick, and the leaves measure eight feet tall and eight feet wide.
The next step for the granite is the inscription of the names of the 158 Canadian soldiers who were killed in the Afghanistan conflict.
Foster said the inscription of the names is taking place at another site in Dundas, Ont., as it requires an extra-large sandblaster which Campbell Monument does not have.
The pieces will be lowered onto the Bain Park memorial site next Friday, but will remain covered until the official unveiling Nov. 10.
“We are all very anxious to see what everything will look like when it comes together,” said Foster.
By Emily Mountney, Trentonian
Friday, October 19, 2012 2:30:50 EDT PM