Afghanistan plaque approved for Lennoxville memorial
On the night of October 1, while the rest of the world was thinking about provincial politics, the City of Sherbrooke approved a request from the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAF) allowing them to add a plaque to the Lennoxville cenotaph in recognition of those who fought in the war in Afghanistan. Although no residents of Sherbrooke lost their lives in the 13-year conflict, the plaque was requested as a way of recognizing the contributions of all Sherbrooke veterans.
According to ANAF spokesperson Linda Caron, the plaque will likely be installed on the Lennoxville cenotaph sometime between now and the 11th of November.
“The idea is to do it before,” Caron said, explaining that the group behind the request doesn’t want the installation of the plaque to take away from the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in any way.
The Lennoxville Memorial already has plaques commemorating the First and Second World War, as well as the Korean War, and it features an additional plaque recognizing a soldier who was killed in the Vietnam war.
Although the approval from the city is good news as far as the request for Lennoxville’s memorial goes, the request made by the ANAF veterans in February went further, asking that plaques commemorating Korea and Afghanistan also be installed on the Sherbrooke Cenotaph on King Street. This part of the request was denied because of the Sherbrooke monument’s heritage status.
According to the minutes of the Urban Planning Committee meeting where the decision was made, although both monuments are considered to be a part of the city’s collection of public art and monuments, only the King Street cenotaph has official heritage status with the Provincial ministry of Culture and Communications. As a result of that status the ad-hoc commission formed to study the request determined that the monument could not be modified or changed, despite recognizing the importance of the ANAF request. The group encouraged the ANAF veterans to investigate other ways of recognizing the contributions of local soldiers.