Afghanistan plaque ap­proved for Len­noxville memo­rial

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Gor­don Lam­bie

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.

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