Nfld. & Labrador

Memorial statues unveiled in Corner Brook

Two new monuments will tower over Remembrance Day ceremonies in Corner Brook.
Sculptor Morgan MacDonald stands in front of one the new statues to be unveiled in Corner Brook on Saturday afternoon. (CBC)

Two new additions will be featured at Remembrance Day ceremonies in Corner Brook this weekend.

Statues honouring soldiers from two historical periods have been erected at the city's Remembrance Square.

One represents a Newfoundland soldier from the First World War, carrying his gun from the trenches, while the other commemorates a Canadian soldier fighting in Afghanistan.

The works are the result of commitments on the part of volunteers who raised money and got community support.

Sculptor Morgan MacDonald, who created the monuments, said the work stirred up mixed emotions in him.

"You're sad to think what these guys have gone through," said MacDonald of the two battlefield soldiers immortalized in bronze.

"You're proud to think of the character of those individuals going through, without question, the worst thing a human being can go through."

MacDonald had previously produced a third sculpture for the square that was unveiled on July 1, portraying the iconic Newfoundland caribou.

The total cost of the works is $500,000, which organizers say was raised through the hard work and generosity of a variety of local citizens.

"The support has been phenomenal," said Gudrid Hutchings, citing donations from Corner Brook businesses. "Coleman’s are a great community sponsor, right down to the school children — car washes, bake sales."

The sculptures will remain shrouded until tomorrow's unveiling.

People have been wondering if one is meant to represent Cpl. Brian Pinksen, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

But MacDonald says the statue is about more than one soldier.

"It's not about an individual in that context," he said. "We really want something that all veterans, all military personnel can be proud of and be visible in the community, just to say thanks to their efforts."

MacDonald is not yet finished with his mission. He's now creating two plaques that will mark the contributions of women to the war effort.

He says they all convey the same message — Lest We Forget.