The sacrifices made by Smiths Falls residents 100 years ago were honoured Saturday, June 3 as the Evergreen Avenue committee unveiled a new monument marking the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The memorial is intended to honour Canadian contributions in several battles during the First World War: the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Cambrai, Amiens, and Drocourt-Queant Canal.
Evergreen Avenue, located at Victoria Park, was begun in 2000 as a living memorial to Canadian veterans. Today the ongoing project is overseen by a subcommittee of the Rideau Environmental Action League, explained Karen Schecter, the group’s treasurer.
“It just shows what a small town can accomplish when everybody works together,” said Schecter. “It has sparked interest in our community about those who have served our country.”
Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute teacher Blake Seward, founder of the Lest We Forget Project, said the project has helped encourage students to become engaged in the civic life of the community.
“It is about students actively participating in the activities which take place in our community on a regular basis,” said Seward. “The vibrancy of our system is based on a continuous participation.”
The Lest We Forget Project involves students conducting in-depth research into the lives of soldiers who served in the world wars.
During the June 3 ceremony, SFDCI students Ben Seward and Catherine Poag shared the stories of four Smiths Falls soldiers killed in action at Vimy Ridge in 1917.
The new memorial was dedicated to the memory of Smiths Falls soldiers Frank Morrissey, Elton Megart, James McShane, Robert Henderson, Stanley Martin, and Harvey L. Horne.