By Rhonda Massad
After two years and plenty of hard work the vision of Maj. Richard Gratton and the Heroes Park committee is going to become a reality this summer.
More than $200,000 was raised with major sponsor support coming from Veterans Affairs Canada, Desjardins, the city of Beaconsfield, TASK, Fednav ltd and BC2.
Heroes Park will house a cenotaph to honor those from the military, police, fire department, paramedics and first responders who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The cenotaph will be located at Shore Park in Beaconsfield, across from Centennial Park.
John Abbott College police technology program will support the sale of border stones while Beaconsfield High School has taken on the responsibility of preparing a time capsule to be placed in the park. The area of the park that will hold the time capsule will be named after Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard, MSM was the first female Canadian combat soldier killed in combat, and the 16th Canadian soldier killed in Canadian operations in Afghanistan.
According to Kristopher Parent committee member and architect for the project, the monument park will be interactive. Each time a visitor spends time in the park they will find more interesting things to see.
“We live in a beautiful community here on the West Island,” Parent explained, “we need to remember it has a cost, that people are responsible for this great quality of life we enjoy. We want to honor those that run towards danger for our benefit.”
The next phase of the project will include the sale of close to 400 border stones that will line the paths leading to the cenotaph. The cost of the stones is $150.00. The buyer will then have the honor of having their name engraved on the stone.
John Abbott college police technology program will support the sale of border stones.
“We are selling the border stones to raise money for the signage and benches to be placed in the park,” said Gratton, “but we are also hoping by engraving a family name on a stone that will remain in the park forever, we are engaging in community involvement for the long-term.”
More information on the border stone program as well as an order form, can be found at www.heroespark.org