A Cape Breton legion has come up with a new way to honour veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice this Remembrance Day.
Members of the Sydney Mines legion are installing 138 crosses around the community’s cenotaph to serve as a visual reminder of the soldiers who went to war and never came back.
Each cross is inscribed with the name of a soldier from the community who died in a conflict.
“There is 76 First World War, 59 Second, one Korea, one naval merchant, and one for the unknown soldier,” explains George MacIntosh of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 8.
The wooden crosses were made by legion member James Lyle and local contractor and woodworker Kevin Miller, whose father served overseas in the Second World War.
“They’ve done so much for us, the members, and the people that are on these crosses, sacrificing ultimately, so I don’t think it was too much for me to build the crosses,” says Miller.
The lumber for the crosses was donated by a local building supplies store, where the manager also happens to be a veteran.
MacIntosh says the community has come together to make the project possible.
“Our motto is, ‘We will remember them,’ and this is just another way to show that we will remember them,” he says.
The crosses will be placed around the cenotaph, where the community holds its Remembrance Day service every year.
“The grandchildren and so forth can go down to the cenotaph and walk through these crosses and say, ‘That’s my great-grandfather,’ which they probably never had the opportunity to do anywhere else, so we think it’s going to be pretty special on Nov. 11,” says MacIntosh.
In the summer, legion members placed 138 Canadian flags at the cenotaph as part of a similar project, but this is the first year for the crosses. Project coordinator James Lyle says they hope to make the crosses part of Remembrance Day every year.
“It’s nice for my children to be able to go there and realize the sacrifice that was made, to give us what we have today,” he says.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald