Two youngsters connect with the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial during the site's launch Tuesday in Regina. ((CBC))

A searchable database of 11,000 war dead is launched, allowing young and old to learn about the sacrifices of Saskatchewan's native sons and daughters.

The Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial was official activated Tuesday, at a ceremony in Regina attended by war veterans and students.


Bill Barry helped produce content for the virtual memorial. ((CBC))

"Those of us that are working on the war memorial committee, you know we're not going to be around much longer and if we don't get these kids involved and interested and aware then they will be forgotten and that will be a tragedy," Bill Barry, a Saskatchewan author and researcher, said about the historical value of the online record.

The database is searchable and contains entries on casualties from peacekeeping missions, the Boer War, the World Wars, and the conflicts in Korea and Afghanistan.

The site commemorates people who died who were born in Saskatchewan or living there when they enlisted.

"I would like to learn about what started all of the fights," Tionna Ackerman, one of the students at the launch, told CBC News Tuesday. "Why they couldn't try to make an agreement instead of fighting right away."

The site includes additional information and links, to help answer those types of questions. It is also designed to allow teachers to tap into the site and build lesson plans from the information.

"I think the site's amazing, Terry Hebert, a teacher, told CBC News. "Kids these days haven't experienced war, which is great. But they don't understand war and I think that this site will help them understand it a bit better and have an appreciation for the freedom that they do have."

The online memorial was devised to extend the reach of Saskatchewan's physical war memorial project, which was recently added to the grounds of the provincial legislature.

For veterans, it can connect them to a new generation.

"We have a lot of people that haven't yet got a computer to have a look at it," said Terry Lyons, 76, a veteran on the war memorial committee. "But I have children and grandchildren who, while the site was under construction, went on it and had a look at it and thought it was a great site."

The developers said work on the virtual site will continue as more research is done.

The web address for the site is   


Author and researcher Bill Barry helps a couple of students with questions about the new Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial. ((CBC))