Sarnia, St. Clair, Where we live — By JD Booth on June 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm
A rolling tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan made a stop in Sarnia's Canatara Park on Wednesday.
The Portraits of Honour is a showcase by artist Dave Sophia of the 157 men and women who have died since 2002, including Camlachie's Corporal Brent Poland and Private William Cushley of Port Lambton.
The tour began in Kitchener a month ago and will continue until mid-December.
“We want to honour the memory of our soldiers and make sure they are never forgotten,” said National Operations Manager Sean Libin, during an interview with LambtonShield.com shortly after the caravan arrived.
“It gives us a chance to honour the families,” he added, his voice cracking with emotion.
Libin says the goal is to raise “millions of dollars” to help returning veterans who suffer from Operation Stress Injuries (OSI) which includes issues such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
“The government does what it can (financially), but individual Canadians need to step up,” said Libin, stopping to compose himself and wiping a tear from his eye.
He says the tour is not political; simply an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served.
Among those who visited the memorial were Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey, Remembrance Day crusader Wilma McNeil, Sarnia Police Chief Phil Nelson and members of the Snowbirds who will be performing over Lake Huron this (Wednesday) evening at 6:45.
“It's one thing to hear the numbers,” said Bailey. “But to see all the faces is really something.”
The tour moves to the Kinsmen Centre on Dufferin Avenue in Wallaceburg on Thursday between 10 am and 1 pm and Libin says they are expecting 50,000 people in Harris Park in London on Canada Day.
The Royal Couple, William and Kate, will lay a wreath during a stop in Calgary on July 8.
Photo: Corporal Brent Poland