Memorial to Fallen Soldiers Installed in Greenwood Cemetery, Dedication Ceremony September | bloginfo(‘name’); ?>


August 4, 2022 0 comments

By Sam Odrowski

After five years of planning, a new 10-foot-wide monument honoring fallen veterans has been installed in Greenwood Cemetery by the Royal Canadian Legion of Orangeville Br. 233.

A dedication ceremony and parade is held September 25, with all 39 Legion branches from District E invited to participate, which covers from Alton to Huntsville.

Plans for the monument began in 2017 and it’s great to see it come to fruition, said Chris Skalozub, past president and local Legion monuments chairman.

“It’s just something that comes from my heart,” he said. “It’s been in the works for a long time, and I’m so glad it’s in the ground. It looks fantastic.

As a veteran himself, having served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Saklozub said it was important to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“There should be something to honor them, and that’s the only way to do it,” he remarked. “It’s because of these people who gave their lives that you have the opportunity to live as you are, period.”

Saklozub said as a Legion member and veteran it is their job to make sure people remember those who fought and a monument is the best way to do that.

“It’s the only way I know that works because it’s a physical thing that’s right in front of your face,” he noted.

Saklozub’s design for the monument was contracted to Tompkins and Heels Monuments in Barrie, who built it. They also built the Forest Lawn Cemetery Monument.

This monument has a cairn design, which comes from Scotland and the United Kingdom. The way it works is when a soldier goes into battle they drop a stone on a pile. If the soldier dies in battle, the pile of stones is assembled to build a cairn, honoring the dead.

The other monument designed by Saklozub is at the Legion and is made of stone. It features glass panels representing each branch of the Canadian military.

The new monument in Greenwood Cemetery, which cost about $42,000, has a large maple leaf in the middle that reads, “They will not grow old, as we who remain grow old; age will not tire them, nor years will condemn them. At sunset and in the morning we will remember them.

Surrounding the maple leaf is also the text of the Act of Remembrance, which reads: “We will remember them”. This phrase is repeated when the Legion does its ceremony at 11 a.m. on the 11the day of 11emonth (November).

The symbols of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary as well as the original and new crest of the town of Orangeville also appear on the monument.

At the base of the monument are rows of poppies that read WWI 1914-1918, WWII 1939-1945, Korean 1950-1953 and Afghanistan 2001-2014, which are wars in which Canada was represented.

“The monument is in the shape of a helmet but in this helmet you have a country which is Canada, with a maple leaf. And then you have the rays of the sun on your back and a hand releasing a dove, which represents the soul of the individual who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Saklozub said.

The Greenwood Cemetery monument is registered with the Department of Veterans Monuments and Cenotaphs and is a registered veterans marker.

With Greenwood Cemetery owned by the City of Orangeville, Skalozub said, “I think it’s about time the city had one.

Skalozub’s design skills date back to his youth when he served in the Air Cadets. There he designed a crest for his squadron which is still used to this day.

He told the Citizen that he would like to thank all of the donors and people who gave their time to help the monument come to fruition at Greenwood Cemetery.

A plaque will be placed on the monument for the dedication service on September 25, and it will name all the supporters/donors who have contributed.


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