Hussars opt to rescind gift of armoured military vehicle to Sackville, N.B.
The controversy continues over the idea of adding a second armoured military vehicle to Memorial Park in Sackville, N.B.
In a letter addressed to the town of Sackville, the 8th Canadian Hussars decided to withdraw their donation of an armoured vehicle.
“They just said given that there is some controversy about it, they wish to do that,” said Sackville Deputy Mayor Ron Aiken. “How much the controversy played into that, we have no idea.”
That controversy has been in play, ever since a decision was made in February to add a second armoured vehicle to Memorial Park.
News of the rescinded offer has left some disappointed.
“Ifelt like it was a true embarrassment for the town,” said Reece Estabrooks of Sackville. “This town has such a rich history with the town and service industry.”
Alex Thomas has been against the installation -- partly because he thinks it glorifies violence.
He'll be making his arguments to town council.
“Our points hadn’t even been brought forward, so I think they had seen something problematic about this gift,” Thomas said.
Others feel the Cougar was the perfect fit for the park.
“We would like the decision to be reconsidered, and we emphasize that this is a memorial park,” said Alf Walker, the Sackville Legion Branch 26 vice-president.
Ever since the decision was made to withdraw the donation, a petition has surfaced online with the signatures of more than 1,000 people hoping that the armoured vehicle will be reconsidered.
“It is for our veterans,” said another Sackville resident, Howard Carr.“And if our veterans wishes are to have that vehicle here, we should honour that.”
Thomas says he'd like to see the community come together to find an alternative, specifically “a way to commemorate that long relationship between the town and the Hussars.”
The town of Sackville says they've been working with the Hussars to find some common ground.
“They want to get together with us to see what we can do in the future, to put memorials in the park, to make it maybe a little less controversial, and to properly acknowledge what the veterans have done for us,” Aiken said.
It’s a quest to find balance, with a monument that's sparked differing opinions all over town.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.