Foundation Presents Vision for Never Forgotten National Memorial to Commemorate Canada's War Dead Wherever They May Lie

Aug 27, 2013, 13:38 ET from Parks Canada

OTTAWA, Aug. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - More than 114,000 Canadians killed in wars outside Canada lie buried in foreign lands, were lost at sea, or were consumed into the landscapes of war. As the world rapidly approaches the centennial of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, and as Canada approaches its 150th birthday, a new Canadian foundation is proposing to raise funds to build a major new national memorial at home on Canadian soil, to honour Canadian war dead, wherever they may lie.

With the support and encouragement of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation has developed a vision to create the Never Forgotten National Memorial as a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for their fellow Canadians. The Never Forgotten National Memorial is proposed to be built along the Cabot Trail at Green Cove in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This rocky point of land is a symbolic setting, oriented towards Europe and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Parks Canada is working with the Foundation to develop a plan to accommodate such a memorial, which will be donated to the people of Canada upon completion.

"Our government recognizes and supports this private initiative by a group of Canadians who have come together to rally their fellow citizens to remember the tens of thousands of young Canadians who gave their lives in many countries to make possible the cherished freedoms we enjoy today," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. "Parks Canada will be talking to key stakeholders, communities and Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia to obtain their input as this proposal takes shape."

"This Memorial is a wonderful initiative that will give Canadians a steadfast symbol here in our country, to honour the unsurpassed bravery in the name of freedom and liberty, that Canadians soldiers displayed," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and regional Minister for Nova Scotia. "The experience at the Vimy monument in France is incredibly moving, but not everyone is able to visit. This monument makes that symbol of sacrifice more accessible to Canadians."

Founded by Mr. Tony Patrick Trigiani, president of Norstar Corporation, and supported by distinguished Canadians such as Major-General (Ret'd) Lewis MacKenzie and Colonel (Ret'd) Alain Pellerin the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation was established in 2011 and became a registered charity in 2012. Working with national and international specialists, the Foundation has developed what it believes is a uniquely layered vision to create a memorial, on Canadian soil, that will connect visitors with the graveyards and memorials outside Canada that care for and honour the remains of the more than 114,000 Canadians who lost their lives beyond our borders.

"It is my deeply held belief that the extraordinary heroism and sacrifices of our servicemen and women should never be forgotten," said Mr. Trigiani, who was brought to Canada as an infant more than 60 years ago from Italy, where many Canadians fought, died and are buried. "With time, I have come to better realize, as have so many other fellow immigrants, just how incredibly honoured we are to have become Canadians and to now be given this precious opportunity to help pay tribute to Our Fallen and to the sacrifices that they made for all of us. As our work progresses, the Foundation will be announcing more details of its plans in the coming months."

Cape Breton Island attracts more than 400,000 visitors annually, many of whom enjoy the stunning beauty of the Cabot Trail and the unique attractions the region has to offer. The proposed site, at Green Cove, is currently the location of a highway-side viewpoint with a parking area and a footpath out onto the point.

SOURCE Parks Canada