War monument fight in Cape Breton national park heats up
$25M monument proposed for Cape Breton Highlands National Park
The man who recommended Green Cove in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park as the location of a giant war memorial continues to believe it is the best spot for it.
Neil MacKinnon is a past president of the volunteer group Dominion Command of Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans in Canada.
In 2011, the CEO for the restoration of the Vimy War Memorial in France asked MacKinnon where the best place would be to put a memorial for soldiers who died over seas.
"I said no place like Green Cove, perfect place," he said.
"Green Cove faces the Atlantic Ocean and directly across from Green Cove is Vimy.This is the perfect place for it."
Several people have spoken out saying the memorial is a good idea, just not in the park. They worry the monument will ruin the area's natural beauty.
MacKinnon said people who think the installation will spoil the picturesque Green Cove don't understand how important the monument will be in attracting tourists.
"It's going to be a big for tourists. Even with all our cruise ships that are coming in here, they might reroute and go by Green Cove from the ocean and see it welcoming sons, daughters, people home from overseas," he said.
MacKinnon believes the monument and visitors' site will be a place of remembrance and reflection.
"You're going to have people that are going to be coming to the Cabot Trail to see the names of their loved ones that were lost overseas. Their names are on monuments overseas," he said.
"You can't afford to go all the way to France to see where your loved ones are buried. You'll be able to come right here in your own country. Their names will be on this monument. All 114,000 names are going to be on it."
The monument has been proposed by the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation.
The foundation wants to raise an estimated $25 million in private donations to build the monument.