The Fort Smith Legion unveiled its new cenotaph and hosted an open house on June 25. Dignitaries and local veterans were among the crowd gathered to lay wreaths in honour of deceased veterans and members of the forces serving today.
Thebacha MLA Michael Miltenberger, district commander of Northwest Territories for the Canadian Legion, comrade Tracy Cross-Gauthier and Mayor Janie Hobart attended the ceremony.
Karen Scott, president of the Fort Smith Legion, says the new monument differs from the original in that in addition to a plaque honouring veterans who have died, a second plaque has been added to honour veterans who served in past peacekeeping missions and those who are currently serving in the Canadian armed forces. Scott says the new plaque represents Branch # 239’s desire to honour the younger generations of soldiers.
“It was important for us because veterans used to be just older men and women in their ‘60s and ‘70s,” she said. “But now we have veterans in their ‘20s coming home from places like Afghanistan and we felt it was also important to honour those serving personnel.”
Members of the Fort Smith Legion decided to move the original cenotaph from its previous location in Conibear Park after it had been damaged by weather and vandalism. Scott says the Legion’s members felt it was important to relocate the monument onto Legion property where it could be better looked after.